LAHORE-Principal Post Graduate Medical Institute (PGMI) and renowned gynecologist Prof Dr Sardar Muhammad Al-freed Zafar has expressed concerns over alarming increase in incidence of breast cancer.  In Pakistan, 90,000 breast cancer cases are being reported annually, which is a matter of great concern. Talking to media on Saturday, Prof Al-freed Zafar stressed the need for changing attitude. Instead of treating breast cancer as a stigma, he said, women needed to be reassured so that they do not hesitate to consult 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 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 said.  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 Freed 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, he said. 

He 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, he concluded.