Islamabad - “Together we can” was the message Oncology team of NORI is communicating to all the female patients. Now it has become a tradition to dedicate a whole month for the awareness programME of screening for breast cancer .

This year the inaugural session was held on Saturday. The purpose was to raise alertness for the disease affecting so many women, however it did so much more than that. The guests were decorated with the pink ribbon badges at the reception desk.

Najia Aizaz wife of Secretary Foreign Affairs appreciated the efforts of doctors for the awareness of breast cancer among the masses. She also suggested that media should play a vital role in the propagation of campaign and reduce the ambiguities of common people about the disease. She narrated the role she played as caregiver of her husband during fight against cancer.

She particularly appreciated the services provided by NORI Hospital in general and Oncology department in particular.

Guest of honour Nigar Javed, wife of Member Science, Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission particularly enlightened the audience to seek knowledge about the disease through electronic media. She also commented that the best consultants of cancer are related with the eighteen cancer hospital of PAEC in different cities.

Mrs Brig Sajjad DG COPD SPD stressed that nothing is impossible and the disease could be conquered with grace of Al mighty Allah, strong belief and commitment.

In the welcome address Director NORI Dr Javaid Irfan highlighted the services provided at the hospital for different cancers in general and breast cancer in particular. He informed the audience that NORI is equipped with vast array of sophisticated and state of the art medical and laboratory equipment. Oncology Department services at NORI could be matched with any well-reputed international standard organisation. NORI is providing 161 tests in the area of Hematology, Clinical Chemistry, Immunology, and PCR. Systems are Barcode readable. Lab Information system is fully automated and EQA enrolled. In the end he assured the audience that “they can tell breast cancer to step aside” as NORI Cancer Hospital is there to support them. He stressed to spread the word to others.

Dr Muhammad Faheem, Head Oncology department NORI presented the statistics of last year breast cancer screening data. More than ten percent females were timely detected. He emphasized the importance of screening campaign and praised the survivors who proved that there can be life after breast cancer with the prerequisite of early detection.

Last year the new cases of breast cancer reported at NORI Cancer Hospital were more than 800. Last year the number of new cancer cases registered at NORI was more than 4,500 and that of follow up cases was more than 40,000.

Later on, all the guests shared their views about the campaign and gave interesting ideas for spreading out the word among general public. Additionally the event served as a time to discuss the disease, its early detection and those suffering from breast cancer .

It created an open conversation about the disease and removed the hurdles and myths. It helped to build a window of optimism in the intoxicated wall of harsh realities of breast cancer .