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Early diagnosis of breast cancer could save lives: Shamim Mumtaz.

HYDERABAD -- Sindh minister for social welfare, Shamim Mumtaz, said that though mammography could not prevent breast cancer it could save lives by diagnosis of breast cancer at early stage as timely mammography has shown to lower the risk of dying from breast cancer by 35 percent in women over the age of 50.

Addressing as a chief guest at a seminar on the topic of 'Mammography Screening' held here Tuesday at Nuclear Institute of Medicine and Radiotherapy (NIMRA) to mark the International Mammography Day she said that in women between ages 40 and 50, the risk reduction appears to be somewhat less.

She said that the women needed to be educated about importance of self examination so as to avoid delays and associated complications of breast cancer.

'Women noticing any unusual growth during self examination must immediately approach a doctor for proper medical examination,' she stressed.

She said that early detection of cancer greatly increases the chances for successful treatment. There were two major components of early detection of cancer included education to promote early diagnosis and screening, she added.

The minister termed it collective responsibility of the medical community to raise public awareness about the disease and that medical advancement has improved the prevention chances against breast cancer.

Director NIMRA Dr. Naeem Laghari informed that Pakistan had higher rate of breast cancer than other Asian countries as approximately 90,000 new cases were diagnosed every year out of which 40,000 died.

According to a research one out of every nine women was likely to suffer from the disease at any point in her life and about 77 percent of invasive breast cancer occurred in women above 50 years, but if diagnosed early the survival rates approach 90 percent.

Dr. Naeem Laghari said Pakistani women have the highest risk of breast cancer and it was a high time to initiate drastic action for educating the society for the prevention of the disease by regular screening through mammography.

Dr. Laghari, pointed out increased awareness of breast cancer, early detection through monthly self-examination, regular mammography tests and treatment advances means that more and more women are surviving.

He said that Mammography was an important tool that can help detecting lumps in the breast much before they can be felt and the American College of Radiology recommends that women aged 40 and above should get mammograms every one to two years.

He further informed that the basic idea for holding the seminar was to educate less-privileged and illiterate women especially in the rural areas through a large number of lady health workers participating in the seminar.

He informed that NIMRA was providing screening facility by using Mobile Mammography Unit to the remote areas of the province to promote Breast Cancer Awareness campaign.

Dr. Anita Atta Ur Rehman expressed that more than one million women worldwide were diagnosed with breast cancer every year.

She advised women under 40 to carry out regular self-examination while those over 40 should get mammography scans regularly.

She said that in developed countries there were national cancer registries where every newly diagnosed cancer patient was registered. This is very helpful to understand the epidemiology and causative factors of cancer, Dr Anita Atta Ur Rehman added.

Dr Nasima, Dr Seema Bibi and others experts also shared their views regarding importance of mammography and breast Screening.
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Publication:Balochistan Times (Baluchistan Province, Pakistan)
Date:Oct 26, 2016
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