Breast cancer awareness: Is Pakistan doing enough?

According to a report by the World Health Organization (WHO), Pakistan has the largest number of breast cancer patients in South Asia.

Breast cancer awareness

Breast cancer remains a deadly disease which devours thousands of lives annually in the world. For past decades, the mortality ratio caused by the disease is too high. Today, it is one of the most dangerous diseases which causes substantial loss in the shape of human life, particularly for women. Moreover, in this special month various countries and charitable organizations embark awareness campaigns regarding breast cancer across the globe. This is a disease which is closely associated with women while it is rare in males.

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Pakistan, too, is confronting the rapid increment in breast cancer cases. As per the report of the World Health Organization (WHO), Pakistan has the largest number of breast cancer patients in South Asia. According to another estimate, approximately 83,000 cases are being reported in Pakistan annually; among them 40,000 die due to it, which is terribly shocking.

Pakistan’s efforts fall short

Pakistan’s commitment, being an abode of breast cancer patients, seems deplorable. It is missing something very significant, that is the consensus of all stakeholders on the issue. The unavailability of healthcare units, particularly in rural areas where women can access timely medical checkups, is the root cause of its increase.

breast cancer causes substantial threats to the lives of women in Pakistan. Therefore, it is imperative for high authorities to establish basic healthcare units across the country so that poor segments of the population

On account of sheer poverty, women from low financial backgrounds could not avail prior examination of breast cancer, which is of utmost necessity for the distinction of the disease, thus enhancing chances of breast cancer in far-flung areas of the country.

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Lump in the breast, change in breast shape, dimpling of skin, and swallow bone pain are the most immediate signs of breast cancer. If not examined on time, they may take dangerous shapes.

Moreover, there are few root causes which are widely considered by medical experts as the factors that give rise to this disease; for instance, an abrupt change of human behavior in the shape of alcoholism, smoking, obesity, radiation exposure and increased age. Though the disease is getting pace day after day, still is almost entirely curable, if timely treatment procedures are followed.

However, the trend of the disease is getting momentum with each passing day, yet the government is not taking reliable measures to get rid of this disease. By a considerable extent, awareness camps can help to reduce its spread. The incumbent government has not taken productive measures so far in this month which would yield productive results.

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Balochistan, the richest province considering the natural resources but most backward in all spheres, depicts a bad picture. Unfortunately, there exists no reliable statistics and data regarding the number of breast cancer cases which may assure the exact number of cases in the province.

it must be a matter of great concern, especially for the Asian countries to create a health alliance for the eradication of breast cancer.

According to an estimate, 10,000 cases of cancer have been reported from 2014-2017, most of the cases are of women with breast cancer. Arguably, there are chances of many more cases than the above highlighted figure, which are not reported due to an unavailability of cancer hospitals in the province.

It is stressful to see the minister strenuously making points for political scores, rather than launching any awareness campaigns in the province. The disease is climbing up and it will augment a bunch of problems in the upcoming years.

What needs to be done

In 2020, the whole world came together in junction against the covid19 pandemic and all countries strengthened their cooperation networks with neighbors. Then why does the world seem divided in the face of breast cancer? Apart from politics, it must be a matter of great concern, especially for the Asian countries to create a health alliance for the eradication of breast cancer.

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Thus, breast cancer causes substantial threats to the lives of women in Pakistan. Therefore, it is imperative for high authorities to establish basic healthcare units across the country so that poor segments of the population (women) may attain timely medical diagnosis, particularly in poverty-ridden areas. Finally, social organizations ought to cooperate with the health authorities to create maximum awareness across the country.

The write is based in Awaran, Balochistan and teaches at the Delta language center Quetta. The views expressed in this article are author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.

 


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