Mazaar-e-Quaid lights up in Pink for Breast Cancer Awareness

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Karachi’s iconic building, the Jinnah Mausoleum (Mazaar-e-Quaid) was illuminated in pink on Friday, October 8, 2021. On this occasion, Dr. Muhammed Aasim Yusuf, the Acting Chief Executive Officer of the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centres, addressed a press-conference at the Pink Illumination Ceremony. He said that every year, Shaukat Khanum Memorial Trust organises an extensive campaign to educate the public about the importance of early detection of breast cancer. In the past few years, SKMT has expanded its awareness activities and this includes illuminating landmark buildings in pink, which is the colour associated with breast cancer awareness worldwide. The illuminated buildings aim to raise awareness about the importance of early detection of breast cancer.

Commenting on the disease incidence, Dr Yusuf said, “Breast cancer is the commonest cancer in women worldwide and Pakistan has one of the highest incidences of breast cancer in Asia. In South-Central Asia, Pakistan has the second highest incidence rate. Over the years, breast cancer continues to be the highest reported malignancy at Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centres in Lahore and in Peshawar.”

He went on to say, “SKMT has been raising awareness on the subject of breast cancer for the past two decades. According to an estimate, the ten-year survival rate for all types of breast cancer has improved by an encouraging figure of 25 to 30 % over this period. While this improvement shows a better understanding of the disease, earlier detection and improvement in treatment of breast cancer, we need to sustain our awareness efforts to improve outcomes for breast cancer patients. To address this problem, we are raising awareness through a number of platforms and expanding our treatment services. Women between the ages of 20 and 40 years should conduct self-examination and those over 40 years should opt for mammography. In case of any unusual symptoms, seek medical attention immediately instead of falling victim to shyness or fear.”

As part of the awareness campaign, SKMT is organising a number of different activities for the public. This includes pink walks, polo match, online competitions, online awareness sessions and Pink Tea Parties. These activities aim to break the taboo around the subject.

In his message to the public, Dr Aasim Yusuf said, “The media can play a vital role in spreading the message about breast cancer awareness so it reaches women everywhere in Pakistan, in villages and in cities. We need to empower women with information that can save their lives and men should also play their role and support their sisters, wives and mothers in seeking medical attention.”