ISLAMABAD-First Lady Samina Arif Alvi on Wednesday said timely diagnosis of breast cancer could lead to ninety per cent cure and stressed upon women not to neglect their own well-being because healthy women contributed more productively towards society.

Speaking as chief guest at an awareness programme at Federal Breast Cancer Screening Centre at Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS), the First Lady said it was important for women to be aware about diseases concerning them in particular, mainly breast cancer.

Expressing concern over Pakistan ranking top among Asian countries with rising number of breast cancer patients, she said awareness among women was an effective way to prevent late stage diagnosis.

Instead of being labelled as taboo, she said that breast cancer must be dealt as a serious disease with its basic information to be spread both among men and women. She urged upon medical practitioners, doctors and also lady health workers to spread the message to sensitise women about regular screening and mammography.

The First Lady expressed satisfaction over the Federal Breast Cancer Screening Centre at PIMS for providing walk-in medical facilities to women and stressed the need for setting up more such centres.

She also mentioned the in-progress data collection on breast cancer by the armed forces’ medical department to be shared with civilian hospitals besides a request to Aga Khan Hospital for introducing mammograms on low rates.

Head of Oncology Department at PIMS Dr Qasim said that established in 2015, the Centre was providing screening, mammography and biopsy free of cost with patients received from across the country.

Focal person National Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign, Ministry of National Health Dr Ayesha Isani Majeed said as a government sector medical facility, the Centre was contributing  to ensuring free-of-charge tests to all without any social discrimination.

Breast cancer survivors Gauhar Sultan and Aliya narrated their stories from diagnosis to treatment at PIMS Centre, expressing satisfaction over the process that helped them lead a healthy live.