Breast cancer

Do away with the taboo




October is the month when the world over awareness is raised around breast cancer.  It was until very recently considered a taboo subject and no one liked to talked about it for the simple fact that it involved talking about woman’s body. Many women silently suffered and died of it because of detection at a later stage when the disease was incurable. Pakistan being a conservative society too lacked necessary discussion around the subject. It is only very recently that some organizations and conscientious people came forward to campaign around the disease.

A staggering 1.4 million cases of breast cancer are reported every year in the world, nearly one fourth of which die due to various complications.  This is also the most pervasive form of cancer among women. As for Pakistan the Pink Ribbon campaigners put the number of cases at 90, 000 every year. Some 40, 000 of which die mainly due to late detection, they say. These numbers when put against the statistics from other Asian countries make them the highest for any country in the most populous continent on Earth.

People must have noticed that every year since the last couple of years some important buildings are lit pink during the month of October. This year the PM Secretariat and Minar-e-Pakistan was lit pink. Even some anchorpersons and news casters put on pink ribbons during transmissions besides other information campaigns on media. This has helped change the society’s attitude towards the disease. Now there are discussions around the subject which shall eventually help in early detection of this disease. And early detection makes it curable. In a society where women already are struggling to find their true place – more so the women in rural areas and from lower socio economic background – it is imperative that they have information about a potential threat to their lives and have access to necessary healthcare as well.