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The Aga Khan University Hospital Pakistan

The Aga Khan University Hospital Raises Awareness About Breast Cancer and Women’s Health

<p>To raise awareness about Breast Cancer and to mark the month long campaign on informing people about this cancer, The Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH) hosted a Breast Cancer Awareness Walk on Friday at its Stadium Road Campus in Karachi. The event was attended by over 800 people including celebrity guests like fashion designers Sana Hashwani, noted media personalities and activists. </p><div>The event featured talks by AKUH CEO Hans Kedzierski, AKUH breast surgeons and oncologists, and breast cancer survivors. ​</div><div>
</div><div>One of the survivors who spoke at the event, Dr. Saida Rasul, Senior Lecturer at AKUH shared her story of treatment. “It is alright to be diagnosed with breast cancer, early diagnosis is key. The reason I survived was because of my yearly mammogram. My cancer was diagnosed at the right time.” She continued to say that, “Men can also be diagnosed with breast cancer, which is why it is essential to have yearly check-ups”. Dr. Saida has been in remission for 18 years now and has been able to get back to routine life. </div><div>
</div><div>Professor Shaista Khan, Head of Breast surgery at the Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH) said, “The disease can be treated if diagnosed at an early age.”</div><div>
</div><div>About 1 in 9 women in Pakistan are diagnosed with breast cancer at some point in their life and in 40,000 women die every year because of this cancer. Pakistan has the highest rate of Breast Cancer in Asia. The incident of death from breast cancer is higher in Pakistan because of a lack of awareness about regular screening and mammograms because of which people don’t access timely medical care. Treatment for breast cancer is effective if started at an early stage. </div><div>
</div><div>AKUH’s “Let’s Defeat Breast Cancer Together” campaign began last year and has since become an annual event. AKUH’s month-long breast cancer campaign focuses on bringing awareness among women about the importance of early diagnosis, and engaging with men to increase their awareness about the disease so that they may encourage women in their families to get screened. Women’s health is often neglected and shame around women’s bodies as well as stigma around this disease prevents women from getting diagnosed in time. </div><div>
</div><div>“Our aim is to reach out to those women who haven’t reached us or who do not know anything about mammograms, breast cancer and early diagnosis.” Dr. Sana Zeeshan, Breast Surgeon, AKUH.</div><div>
</div><div>AKUH held various activities during the month of October including discounted screening mammograms, breast check-up clinic in Aga Khan Hospital for Women - Garden, Facebook Live sessions with a panel of doctors and surgeons, health information videos, competitions and other engagement strategies.</div><div>
</div><div>The Aga Khan University Hospital also launched a Mobile Mammogram Bus with the aim to take the Mammogram Service and Breast Check Up Clinic closer to the women who have less or no awareness about the disease or access to screening facilities.</div><div>
</div><div>“We together want to beat this disease, with this Mammogram Bus which will have all facilities to detect Breast Cancer at an early age, we want to reach out to every woman in the country” said Hans Kedzierski, CEO, AKUH.​</div>