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Pink Ribbon Pakistan

Creating Awareness for Breast Cancer
By: Omer Aftab

Omer Aftab Mr. Omer Aftab has been working as a Development Communications Professional for the past 15 years and is specializing in Campaigning. He is actively involved in the promotion of Breast Cancer Services in Pakistan.

Pakistan has the highest rate of Breast Cancer in the whole of Asia. One out of nine women in Pakistan are at the risk of Breast Cancer. Prevalence of Breast Cancer is the highest amongst all the cancers in Pakistan with 38.5 percent cases of breast cancer as a percentage of all cases of cancer. Every year 40,000 women are killed with Breast Cancer in Pakistan.

Fortunately, Breast Cancer can be detected and cured at a very early stage. Therefore, it is important to focus on prevention rather than cure, since breast cancer if diagnosed early, can increase the survival rate to more than 90 percent.

Currently, Pink Ribbon Campaign is spreading awareness through information and material nationwide. It also sensitizes girls and women by arranging various events and activities that create a direct interaction. PRC organizes medical camps for advice and clinical checkup. The campaign has also managed to arrange free national screening programs in collaboration with its partner hospitals. Daughters can play an important part in influencing their mothers to go for a regular breast self-examination and medical checkup.

The recent trends have shown that breast cancer incidences are, alarmingly, increasing in young girls in Pakistan. Pink Ribbon Campaign supported by Higher Education Commission (HEC) and PAEC Cancer Hospitals has marked 2012 as Pink Ribbon Youth Year. The target is to reach out to 500,000 girls through 500 Colleges and Universities in twelve months.

The program has already been launched reaching out to 120,000 girls through 43 colleges and universities in Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Lahore and Peshawar. We have planned our next activations in Quetta and Karachi, and their adjoining cities.