October is observed as Breast Cancer Awareness month worldwide
October is observed as Breast Cancer Awareness month worldwide. The world is about to see a lot more pink, from ribbons to designer dupattas, in a bid to educate the masses about the disease. In a study, conducted last year, it was found that women in India and Pakistan are more prone to aggressive forms of breast cancers.
Samina Alvi, the wife of President Arif Alvi, took to social media and vowed to spread much-needed awareness about the otherwise tabooed illness.
“As you know, breast cancer is a fatal disease,” Samina shared in a video. She added, “In Pakistan, thousands of women lose their lives to breast cancer every year due to the lack of awareness. I would like to request all of you to educate yourselves about symptoms of breast cancer.” Speaking of consulting a specialist, she commented, “If you find a lump or any disfiguration in your breasts, consult a doctor immediately. I would like to request the media to spread awareness about breast cancer in October so that we can save valuable lives with prompt assessment. Remember, for a healthier life, timely assessment is imperative.”
Previously, Mrs Alvi tested positive for Covid-19. She later took to social media and confirmed she has tested negative this week and is now taking charge to speak about breast cancer. “I was tested negative for Covid-19 two days ago. I am doing better and recovering slowly. My focus is now on the October Breast Cancer Awareness campaign for this year.” She added, “Please help by educating women around you to examine themselves and support them.”
‘Pakistani, Indian women more prone to have an aggressive form of breast cancer’
The study, published in the International Journal of Cancer, examined the characteristics of breast cancer among Indian and Pakistani-American and non-Hispanic white women in the US using data from the National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results Program.
Both, Indian and Pakistani women are diagnosed with more aggressive forms of the disease, at a younger age, according to the researchers. The researchers, who are part of the Rutgers School of Public Health and Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, reviewed incidence data among Indian and Pakistani women between 1990 and 2014.
“Our results provide an insight into breast cancer in Indian and Pakistani women, suggesting several hypotheses to guide future scientific studies to better understand the risk factors influencing disease etiology and prognosis,” said Jaya M Satagopan, lead author and director of the Center for South Asian Quantitative Health and Education at the Rutgers School of Public Health.