ISLAMABAD: Brandishing lavender ribbons on each of their caps, dozens hiked up the Margalla Hills in an attempt to spread awareness about cancer on Sunday.
People from all walks of life, including cancer patients, doctors and children, took part in the hike on Trail 3, marking the launch of a two-week awareness campaign by Shifa International Hospital (SIH) leading up to the World Cancer Day on February 4.
Talking to The Express Tribune, Oncologist Kamran Rasheed said that the change in people’s lifestyles and eating habits has increased the prevalence of cancer.
He added that among the women, breast cancer is very common. “One out of every nine women in the country suffers from breast cancer, a potentially fatal disease that can be cured if diagnosed at an early stage.
He stressed the need for creating awareness about its symptoms, timely diagnosis and proper treatment.
SIH Strategic Planning Director Mahmood Mirza said that the hospital administration believes it is their prime responsibility to make people aware about dreaded diseases like cancer. He said the hospital has planned a number of events to create awareness about cancer and promote healthy lifestyles.
He also said that on World Cancer Day, the hospital will formally open its cancer centre, a facility with modern equipment for the treatment and research of the disease. On the day, the hospital will also distribute coupons for free mammography tests among women for diagnosing breast cancer, he said, adding that the hospital will begin free cancer screening from February 6.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 23rd, 2012.