LAHORE - First Lady Begum Samina Arif Alvi on Monday said that number of women suffering from breast cancer in Pakistan was higher than the other countries so it was needed to pay attention towards the health of women as healthy women could play positive role for creating good society.

Addressing a seminar regarding Breast Cancer at Alhamrah Art Council here, she said breast cancer cases were on rise in Pakistan so special focus was being ensured to awareness programmes.

This disease was increasing in developed and developing countries, she said and added that every year in Pakistan 90,000 women fell victim to breast cancer out of which 17,000 women completely recovered from it.

Samina Arif Alvi said the disease was spreading very fast and even the young females were being diagnosed with it, adding that in far flung areas where women had no access to social media, women were getting awareness through telephone tone message. She also appreciated the role of print and electronic media in this regard and said that media had to play an effective role in creating awareness among people about causes, treatment and prevention from breast cancer

The NGOs, welfare organizations, doctors, nurses, civil society, hospitals and military institutions were supporting in breast cancer awareness activities, she maintained. The First Lady said that females should conduct their self examination as this disease was curable to 98 percent if diagnosed at early stage.

She stressed upon the need that breast cancer awareness should not be restricted to the month of October only but efforts should be made throughout the year.

The number of breast cancer cases was increasing in the country as women did not pay attention to symptoms and treatment of breast cancer, adding that death rate could be reduced if breast cancer was diagnosed at early stages.

Begum Samina Arif Alvi said that Agha Khan Hospital had reduced the rates of tests pertaining to breast cancer, adding that various NGOs had also organized walks to impart awareness among people about the disease, treatment and precautionary measures. She said that awareness campaigns would be further extended across the country.

Wife of Governor Punjab Begum Parveen Sarwar, representatives from civil society and others were also present.