At the onset of the Breast Cancer Awareness Month declared internationally as “Pinktober”, I take this opportunity to convey that women diagnosed with breast cancer can live normal, healthy and productive lives given the disease is diagnosed and treated at appropriate time. Tragically, one in every nine women in Pakistan is suffering from this disease and far too many women suffer isolation and even death due to ignorance, lack of awareness, discrimination and frivolous stigmas primarily in rural areas.
This month offers the entire nation an opportunity to dispel the myths that surround women having breast cancer and enable them to live a healthy and productive life as equal citizens in our society. This, however, can only be achieved through a holistic and well coordinated awareness campaign at national level wherein all segments of society need to participate under proactive supervision of the government.
The concerned Federal Ministries and Divisions have been directed to arrange special events throughout the month to raise awareness about this disease and its timely treatment besides expanding health infrastructure for outreach to all parts of the country.