KARACHI - Any mass in breast or under pit, any change in size or shape of breast, swelling in any part or whole of breast, reddishness or thickening of its skin, nipple discharge can be a symptom of breast cancer . Most of women usually reach hospital on second or third stage of disease in Pakistan. Timely diagnosis can make breast cancer treatment possible.

This was told by doctors at a “Breast Cancer Awareness Seminar” organised by Pakistan Association of the Deaf (PAD) for deaf women at its Centre of Excellence for the Deaf (CEF) located in Korangi. Seminar was attended by women at large Tuesday.

Speakers of the seminar included chief guest renowned surgeon at Liaquat National Hospital Prof Rufina Soomro, Dr Afsheen Javaid, Patron PAD Dr Saira Bano, Chairman Irfan Mumtaz, role models Zaitoon Khalid and Durdana Butt. Principal CED Fazila Shamim interpreted all proceeding of seminar through sign language for deaf participants.

Speakers told that each mass is not necessarily cause of cancer but benign one can be symptom of breast cancer .  However it is the only type of cancer which can be diagnosis on very early stage as its all symptoms are visible and noticeable. Women getting marry after the age of 40 or those couldn’t conceive, mothers who avoid breast feeding their kids are on greater risk of breast cancer . Such mothers must feed their babies at least up to two years, they told.

Healthcare providers said that breast cancer is genetic disease and it can increase its risk many folds if there is previous family history of it. Women should get mammogram at least once a year. Percentage of breast cancers among young and older women is alarmingly increasing. Every ninth woman can suffer breast cancer as over 90,000 such cases are reported every year in Pakistan with a mortality rate of 40,000 women annually, they informed.

Prevalence of breast cancer is higher in Pakistan as compared to other Asian countries due to lack of awareness of disease. Almost 10.02 million women are at risk of breast cancer in Pakistan. Its best treatment is early diagnosis. Women should examine own breasts herself on regular basis and consult an expert doctor if find any symptom.

Women should avoid alcohol, smoking, gaining weight, luxury lifestyle, use of hormones and radiations, doctors stressed.

Lectures were followed by a question-and-answer session. Before conclusion, artist Asif Ilyas and his team presented a skit highlighting family and community behaviours towards breast cancer .