October is international Breast Cancer Awareness Month and the Khoja community in Karachi is taking a lead in the fight against the disease.
Breast cancer is the second biggest cause of cancer deaths in women, with 40,000 dying from the disease in Pakistan every year.
Khoja (Pirhai) Shia Isna Jamaat (KPSIAJ) in Karachi is therefore heading a campaign to encourage more women to have breast cancer screening by registering for a mammogram.
“Mammograms take only 15 to 20 minutes and could save your life,” said Ms. Batool Abid, Women Councilor KPSIAJ.
Ms. Siddiqa Hemani, an active social worker in the community, said: “We can fight breast cancer the same way we controlled the blood disorder thalassemia.”
One in eight women around the world will be diagnosed with breast cancer, but early detection through a mammogram leads to a survival rate of 98%.
Dr. Dilshad, a renowned community health specialist, said: “October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Let’s join hands to spread awareness about this disease and save lives of women around us through early detection.”
Breast Cancer Awareness Month is an annual international health campaign organised by major breast cancer charities every October to highlight the importance of breast awareness, education and research. It involves thousands of organisations worldwide.
In Karachi, groups of community ladies are having mammograms at the city’s Cancer Foundation Hospital, and more can register every Wednesday from 4pm to 5pm at KPSIAJ Women Wing Office.
Fatimiyah Hospital is also a partner in the awareness campaign, which is running under the slogan: “Say Yes to mammogram, say No to breast cancer.”