Principal Post Graduate Medical Institute and renowned gynecologist Prof. Dr. Sardar Muhammad Al-Fareed Zafar has said that Pakistan is one of the countries in the world where the incidence of breast cancer among women is increasing alarmingly. In Pakistan, 90,000 cases are being reported annually, which is a matter of great concern.
Talking to media, Principal PGMI/LGH Prof. Al-Fareed Zafar said that in order to curb the growing incidence of breast cancer, we need to change our social attitudes and instead of treating breast cancer as a stigma, women need to be reassured so that they do not hesitate to consult their doctor in case of any discomfort. He said that breast cancer is a treatable disease, often diagnosed early while with immediate treatment, the patients recover and the chances of the cancer getting worse are very low.
In response to a question, Principal PGMI said that not every lump in the breast or armpit is a symptom of cancer, mostly tumors that form without pain can become cancerous, therefore, women should check their breasts and armpits regularly and do not delay in contacting a doctor if any unusual symptoms appear.
He added that women should have mammography tests twice a year and also contact their doctor so that immediate diagnosis and treatment of such disease is possible.
He further stated that the facility of mammography test is available at LGH, 300 tests are being conducted previous year.
Prof. Fareed said that it is uncommon for pregnant women to have breast cancer but care should be taken to ensure that the treatment is such that the disease is eradicated, the cancer does not spread further in the body and negatively affects the health of the baby or no side effects from the treatment.
Prof. Al-Fareed said that due to Eastern and Western traditions and social values women and young girls do not mention any change or discomfort in their breasts to their father or a close relative who later caught of complications.
He said that surgery is inevitable due to the increase in discomfort and the patient has to undergo chemotherapy, radiation and other steps to completely eradicate the cancer from the body and in many cases medicines have to be used for life. It is the responsibility of the parents to get the girl diagnosed with the disease immediately and get her to be in line by a doctor immediately so that the disease can be prevented.
In order to be safe from breast cancer, women should change their daily routine, take time for exercise and leisure, do not allow weight gain and must breastfeed from the time of childbirth till the prescribed time, he added. Similarly they should eat a healthy diet, especially fruits and vegetables, Prof. Al-Fareed concluded.