KARACHI - First Lady Begum Samina Arif Alvi on Thursday said the women should take special care of their health as the prosperity of a society depended on healthy mothers.

A majority of the women in Pakistan had a little knowledge about the diseases and that was why the death ratio due to the breast cancer was higher in the country than other states, she said while speaking as a chief guest at a breast cancer awareness event organized here by the Kiran Foundation.

Begum Samina Alvi said the breast cancer disease was curable if it were diagnosed at the earlier stage. She emphasized upon self-examination, which was the most important factor in prevention of the deadly disease.

The First Lady said the breast cancer awareness campaigns must not be limited to the month of October only. She urged the participants to keep creating awareness about the disease so as to save maximum number of lives.

She noted that there was no hesitation among the women of urban areas to openly discuss the breast cancer matters, while their counterparts in the villages were still hesitant due to the stigma attached to the disease.

Begum Samina Alvi thanked the media for airing messages to sensitize the masses about the breast cancer. Special programmes were held particularly in the morning shows on TV channels while articles were published in the newspapers about the deadly disease.

At the same she appreciated the civil society, the armed forces and healthcare facilities for their cooperation in the breast cancer awareness drive.

A breast cancer awareness call center, she said, had also been established for the assistance of women. The First Lady praised Kiran Foundation Chairperson Sabina Khatri for her efforts for creating awareness about the breast cancer. Besides students, their mothers were also being trained at the Kiran Foundation School, she added.

Sabina Khatri, in her speech, lauded Begum Arif Alvi for her efforts to make the women aware about the deadly disease. She advised the girl students to adopt the habit of self-examination as the breast cancer was curable if diagnosed timely.

A breast cancer survivor Asma Nabeel said positive thinking could help overcome any kind of problem. She was diagnosed with the breast cancer around seven years ago, but she did not got scare, fought it courageously and today she was fine and healthy.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Samia said that the breast cancer awareness campaign launched by the First Lady two years back had started to yield results, as more cases were now being reported. The breast cancer was a curable disease if diagnosed timely and women must not hesitate to discuss its symptoms, she added.

Dr. Samia also informed the participants about self-examination and symptoms of the breast cancer in detail. Later, Sabina Khatri presented a souvenir to First Lady Begum Samina Arif Alvi. Students, their mothers and teachers attended the awareness event.