Islamabad-Chief Executive Pink Ribbon Foundation Omer Aftab on Sunday emphasised the need for creating awareness among female population about breast cancer and called for more screening facilities in hospitals.

Due to lack of awareness about the fatal diseases, breast cancer takes lives of thousands of women around the globe as discussion about this ailment had been considered a taboo in male-dominated societies, said Omer. He said that breast cancer was by far the most common cancer in women worldwide, both in the developed and developing countries, adding that in low and middle income countries, the incidence of breast cancer had been rising steadily in the last few years.

The Pink Ribbon Foundation has managed to save countless lives through advocacy, consultation, campaigns and government-backed awareness programmes across the country, he mentioned. The foundation has created a network of breast cancer survivors who can share stories of courage with women suffering from the disease.

“I am really committed to the cause and we need to save lives of all women dying of breast cancer”, he added.

At present, there is insufficient knowledge on the causes of breast cancer; therefore, early detection of the disease remains vital element of its control, he said. He added that if breast cancer is detected early and if adequate diagnosis and treatment is available, there is a good chance of treating the ailment. If breast cancer is detected late, curative treatment is often no longer an option. In such cases of late detection, palliative care to relief the suffering of patients and their families is needed, he added.

“Women’s hesitance to discuss the disease is one of causes for increasing number of breast cancer patients dying in our country”, he said, adding that women should be educated on self-examination and the need to see a doctor if they felt any lump.