One of every 8 women at risk of developing breast cancer

ISLAMABAD - Rain, cold wind and hard weather could not shatter the determination of dozens of participants who gathered for a walk to fight against cancer outside a local hospital on Monday to mark World Cancer Day. A large number of school children from Tameer-e-Millat School and other schools, civil society representatives, citizens of twin cities, doctors, medical and nursing and cancer patients participated in the walk organized by Shifa International Hospital (SIH).The participants were holding placards and banners inscribed with encouraging slogans for cancer patients and awareness quotes. Consultant Oncologist and breast cancer expert Dr. Saira Hassan said breast cancer prevalence in Pakistan is higher than entire Asia. ‘One in eight Pakistani women is at risk of developing breast cancer. However there is no specific data of total cancer patients in Pakistan as there is no centralized cancer registry’. She emphasised on self-examination for breast cancer. ‘If women feel any lump then they should consult their doctor for further diagnosis and treatment’, she said. Head Radiation Oncology Department SIH Dr. Muhammad Ali Afridi and Head Medical Oncology Dr Kamran Rashid said cancer is very serious disease but it can be avoided by adopting healthy lifestyle and indulging in physical activities and exercises. They stressed on the need to quit smoking and use of all kinds of tobacco that is a root-cause of many types of cancers. Dr. Afridi told the participants that cancer is 90 percent curable if it is timely diagnosed. “Treatment is more successful today than ever,” Dr. Afridi remarked. He emphasised that once cancer is diagnosed it should be treated at multi-disciplinary facility because cancer treatment is not the job of a single doctor. Dr Kamran Rasheed urged for living a simple life, consuming simple and healthy food and doing regular exercise to prevent cancer and many other dreaded diseases. Masses should know possible symptoms of cancer. General physicians must suggest cancer related tests to patients if they find symptoms related to cancer disease in patients to diagnose it at early stages, he said. Later participants thrashed Mr. Cancer with balloon sticks and defeated him. The role of Mr. Cancer was performed by a medical student Saim.Surgery for migraines looks promisingNew surgical procedures are offering relief from debilitating migraine headaches, research shows. The new surgical techniques were inspired by an unexpected side effect to facial plastic surgery - specifically, a forehead rejuvenation procedure. The report appears in the January issue of the journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. Patients undergoing the plastic surgery technique, which involves cutting muscle in the forehead, reported that their migraine headaches disappeared, writes researcher Bahman Guyuron, MD, professor of plastic surgery with Case Western Reserve University and the American Migraine Center. Based on that pattern, Guyuron and colleagues designed two surgical techniques specifically designed to identify migraine trigger points and treat migraine headaches. Their current study offers a report on the patients’ outcomes.Of the 125 migraine headache sufferers in his study, 100 got surgery and 25 got no treatment for comparison. Starting months before surgery, patients were injected with Botox to determine which muscles in the forehead or the back of the head triggered their migraines. If the injections resulted in improvement of the migraine frequency or duration, these muscles were surgically removed. Both groups of patients kept diaries of their migraines, medical costs, and sick days off work for the entire one-year study.The surgery group had the best results: Some 92% of patients had at least a 50% reduction in migraine frequency, duration, or intensity. Of that group, 35% reported elimination of migraine headaches and 57% reported improvement. Only 15% of comparison patients reported good results during the one-year follow-up.Out-of-pocket expenses for migraine headache care also changed dramatically. The surgery group paid $925 for medications during the first year after surgery, compared with an average $7,612 annual cost before surgery. The comparison group paid an average of $5,530 annually.Surgery patients also called in sick less often because of migraine headaches. They had 73% fewer sick days than comparison patients.“Before surgery, my patients expressed extreme frustration by not being able to gain control of their lives,” says Guyuron in a news release. “They wanted to work or spend time with their family. Through our new surgical discoveries, we are able to help the appropriate patients escape the awful effects of migraines and start living their lives again.”The most common side effects from the surgery were discomfort at injection site, temple hollowing, neck weakness, and eyelid sagging, he reports.The migraine headache surgery offers advantages not provided by triptan medications, Guyuron explains. The drugs have been considered a major advance in migraine treatment. But sufferers still must endure the migraine symptoms until the drugs take effect. Also, triptans cause drowsiness, weight gain, and hair loss. People with heart disease, history of stroke, or who are pregnant can’t take triptans. The procedure requires further testing and longer follow-up before the term “cure” can be used for those who become free of migraine headache symptoms, he writes.

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