Ignorance is fatal while awareness is power; about 75 percent of breast cancer victims in Pakistan come to hospital at the last stage while this ratio is only 10 percent in the western countries, said oncologists while addressing an awareness seminar on breast cancer at the Government College University, Lahore. About 600 students attended the seminar held under the auspices of the university’s Quality Enhancement Cell and Surgical Oncology Society Pakistan.

Vice Chancellor Prof. Dr. Muhammad Khaleeq-ur-Rahman also met with the oncologists and laid a stress on initiating indigenous research projects on advanced biology, lasers, MRIs and cancer medicines. He said that GCU would continue to arrange awareness campaigns for the health of its students, as a healthy body was essential for a healthy mind.

Addressing the seminar, eminent clinical oncologist Prof. Muhammad Arshad Chmmea said that there was frightening increase in the ratio of breast cancer in Pakistan, and now every 8th woman in the country was at the risk of suffering from this fatal disease. However, he said that awareness about this cancer was near to nil. He called upon the students to spread the awareness about this fatal disease in their families and neighbors with a core message that “early detection is the best prevention against cancer.

Dr. Arshad Mahmood Cheema receiving the shield from VC

Dr. Arshad Mahmood Cheema receiving the shield from VC

The GCU female students were briefed in detail about the signs and symptoms of breast cancer and methods of self-examination. In reply to question from a student, the clinical oncologist said that all women were at risk of developing breast cancer, while the factor that put some women at greater risk was family histories of breast cancer.

Speaking on the occasion, GCU QEC Director Iram Sohail said that communication was critical to decreasing cancer-related stigmas and raising awareness. “Breast cancer is not just a disease that strikes at a woman; rather it strikes at the very heart of all those who are associated with us; our children, our family etc” she added. Ms Iram Sohail also briefed the students about the history pink ribbon camping which had been started in 1992.

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