Inaugurates Breast Center at ULTH, signs MoU with Pink Ribbon Pakistan
Sana Tariq Gill
With the aim to increase public awareness on the breast cancer and to promote women health in Pakistan, the University College of Medicine and Dentistry (UCMD) at the University of Lahore, organized several activities from October 14 to 24, 2020.
UCMD’s Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics and Community Medicine in collaboration with Sarwar Foundation hosted a seminar on Breast Cancer on October 15-16, 2020, themed as ‘Only early detection and increased awareness can reduce mortality rate associated with this problem’. The event included talk sessions followed by a campus walk, inauguration of Breast Center at the University of Lahore Teaching Hospital (ULTH) and signing of memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Pink Ribbon Pakistan.
During the activities, increased awareness, early detection, treatment and palliative care of the disease were emphasized. The attendees wore pink color in the spirit of following the theme and followed all the SOPs during the seminar.
Mrs. Perveen Sarwar (Wife of Governor of Punjab) and Prof. Dr. Mahwish Arooj (Principal UCMD), Mrs. Farzana Raoof (Director Sports and Culture) were the chief guests of the events which were attended by faculty members from UCMD and ULTH.
Prof. Dr. Tahira Rizwan (Gynecologist) gave a welcoming speech in which she thanked the chief guests, HoDs, female faculty members of the Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics and Surgery and Community Medicine. She also applauded the efforts of Dr. Mahwish for encouraging and providing full support to the event.
Mrs. Sarwar thanked UOL for inviting her and appreciated the organizers for putting up an informative event. She shared some carrier patients from her family and emphasized on taking precautionary measures against this disease. She said, “We should encourage our women to go for regular checkups regardless of any shame and we should start a helpline for raising awareness and providing medical assistance for Breast Cancer patients”.
Mrs. Sarwar emphasized on starting campaigns in rural areas where most of the people are unaware of this disease. She also highlighted the need to break the stereotypes by discussing the disease within the families.
Dr. Arooj thanked all the departments, especially Prof. Dr. Tahira Rizwan (Head of the Gynecology Department), Dr. Saima Rafique (Gynae & Obs), Dr. Javaria Usman (Assistant Professor Surgical Department) and Dr. Attia Rasheed (Associate Professor) for arranging such an informative seminar.
As a medical professional, Dr. Arooj stressed on raising awareness as breast cancer has become the most common cancer worldwide while Pakistan is at the top in Asia with 90,000 cases being reported every year.
She said, “It is a very ruthless disease that has no boundaries and borders. The important thing is that if it is diagnosed early it is treatable. It is also important to have regular checkups to diagnose and treat the disease at an early stage”.
Dr. Rizwan said 18.1 million new cases of breast cancer are being diagnosed every year adding that in Pakistan 1 in every 9 women is diagnosed with breast cancer. “Around 90,000 females suffer from this disease and 40,000 lose their lives every year. Spiritual belief in healing, using herbal alternative treatments, financial issues, feeling of shyness, fear of isolation, and ignorance of disease/painless lump are some of the causes for the late detection of this killer disease”, she revealed.
Dr. Rafique, Dr. Rasheed and Dr. Usman presented on ‘Making a difference, My Social Responsibility’, ‘Early detection can save your life’ and ‘Shared taboos associated with breast cancer, and stressed on raising awareness in men’ respectively.
Dr. Samina Malik (HoD Physiology) talked about ‘Promoting Physiological well-being in breast cancer survivors: A bridge between Mind, Body and Soul’ and shared some of her undergoing Ph.D. researches on this disease. She said, “Patient is not a disease; patient is a human who has mind and body and we treat body and leave the mind and soul behind”.
She discussed various factors that can increase the risk of cancer such as old age marriages, intercaste marriages, late pregnancies, obesity, processed food, dietary sugar and other medical issues. She suggested physical exercises, yoga, abdominal stretches, and healthy eating as the affordable remedies for the scourge.
Breast Center inaugurated, MoU with Pink Ribbon signed
In the spirit of saving lives, ULTH inaugurated the Breast Centre at a ceremony graced by the presence of Mian Mehmood ur Rashid (Provincial Minister of Punjab for Housing), Mr. Nasir Mahmood (CEO Engineering Projects) and Mrs. Farzana Raoof (Director Sports and Culture).
The inauguration was hosted by Prof. Dr. Mahwish Arooj (Principal UCM), Zahid Pervaiz (M.S ULTH), Prof. Dr. Mansab Ali (HoD Surgery) and Dr. Javeria Usman (Associate Professor).
The Breast Center will be open for patients twice a week i.e. Wednesday & Friday. Prof. Dr. Ali and Dr. Usman will be the in-charge of the center. The breast cancer patients will be attended by Surgeons, Plastic Surgeons, Oncologist and Female Radiologist. The center offers services like initial breast examination, ultra sound mammography and laboratory tests.
The UOL also penned down an MoU with Pink Pakistan Trust in which both institutions will be joining hands for the promotion of breast cancer awareness activities among women. Dr. Arooj and Dr. Zubaida Qazi (President Pink Pakistan Trust) signed the MoU on behalf of the two parties.