ISLAMABAD – To mark October as Pinktober, the Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Pink Ribbon launched nationwide breast cancer awareness drive to reach out to 100,000 young girls to save the lives of 40,000 women who are killed with breast cancer in Pakistan every year.
Omer Aftab, CEO of Pink Ribbon Campaign Pakistan, addressing the ceremony said Pakistan has the highest rate of breast cancer in whole of Asia and 1 out of 9 women in Pakistan are at the risk of breast cancer. Prevalence of breast cancer is the highest amongst all the cancers in Pakistan i.e. 38.5 per cent as every year 40,000 women are killed with breast cancer in Pakistan. ‘Fortunately, breast cancer can be detected and cured at a very early stage. Therefore, it is important to focus on prevention rather than cure since breast cancer if diagnosed early, the survival rate increases to more than 90 percent’ he added.
He informed that October is celebrated as the international month of breast cancer awareness worldwide. This year too Pakistan’s national awareness campaign, Pink Ribbon is doing what is needed at various levels by raising public awareness about the disease highlighting the role of research into the causes of breast cancer and promoting the significance of early education of breast cancer in terms of better treatment and survival. Such activities are carried out all year round but the month of October is special.
He maintained that ‘we need ever more support to extend out message across the nation ensuring that none of us will have to bear the horror of losing a mother, a sister, a wife or a daughter.
Omer further added that the recent trends have shown that the breast cancer incidence have been alarmingly increasing in young girls in Pakistan. Secondly, daughters are normally more close to the mothers so they can be used as influencer on older generation and motivate their mothers for a regular breast self-examination and medical checkup. Pink Ribbon Campaign supported by Higher Education Commission( HEC) has already marked 2012 as Pink Ribbon Youth Year.
The target is to reach out to 500,000 youth through 500 Colleges and Universities in 12 months. The program has already reached to 130,120 girls through 47 colleges and universities in Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Lahore, Peshawar and Quetta.
The Breast Cancer Awareness Month campaign has been launched with the support of support of HEC and Mobilink. HEC Executive Director Sohail Naqvi, Mobilink Director Public Relations Omer Manzoor and Pink Ribbon Campaign Pakistan Co-Chair Mrs. Rebekah Naomi Wigemark also spoke at the occasion.