Breast Cancer Awareness Session 

The “Hashi GoC” held a breast cancer awareness session for Female employees in the Head Office in collaboration with “Acts of Kindness”. The session was led by Dr. Urooj Akram, a medical officer and an expert on breast cancer. The purpose of the session was to educate female employees on the risks of breast cancer, the importance of early detection, and what employees can do to reduce their risk. 

The session began with a brief introduction from Dr. Urooj about her own experiences with breast cancer. She then went on to discuss the statistics of breast cancer and the importance of early detection. She also shared some tips on how employees can reduce their risk, such as maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, and limiting alcohol consumption. 

What is Breast Cancer? 

Breast cancer is a type of cancer that starts in the breasts. According to the World Health Organization, breast cancer is the most common cancer in women worldwide. In 2018, there were 2.1 million new cases of breast cancer diagnosed and 627,000 deaths from breast cancer. 

While breast cancer can occur in both men and women, it is much more common in women. About 1 in 9 women in Pakistan will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some point in their lives. The good news is that there are many things you can do to reduce your risk of developing breast cancer, and early detection is one of the most important things you can do. 

What are the Symptoms of Breast Cancer? 

Most women who have breast cancer do not experience any symptoms in the early stages of the disease. This is why it’s so important to get regular checkups and mammograms (breast cancer screenings). However, there are some symptoms that you should be aware of, such as: 

  • A lump or thickening in your breast or underarm area
  • Changes in the size or shape of your breasts
  • Dimpling or puckering of your skin
  • Nipple discharge
  • Nipple pain or tenderness
  • Itchy, scaly, or swollen nipple; or reddened or thickened skin on your nipple or breast.     

If you experience any of these symptoms, please see a doctor as soon as possible. Early detection is key to successful treatment.   

When 30-year-old Sarwat Chanda an employee of “Hashi GoC” discovered a lump in her breast, she didn’t panic right away. She knew that lumps could develop at her age but decided to see a doctor to be sure. After undergoing an initial biopsy, she was told that cancerous cells had been found, and a few days later she received the shocking news that she had breast cancer. 

To navigate this difficult time in her life, Sarwat Chanda turned to Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre, Peshawar online community where people affected by cancer and caregivers can share their experiences and build supportive relationships with others who’ve been there.

“Being able to talk with others who had gone through similar experiences was comforting,” shares Sarwat Chanda. “Sharing positive, funny anecdotes really helped me. It was amazing to be part of a forum where people affected by cancer could just be themselves.”

“The best advice I can offer would be to embrace it and go with the flow. Looking back on my three years since diagnosis, I have felt a huge spectrum of emotions and they have all been part of my unique way of coping. There is no set path or correct way. I’d say be true and kind to yourself. There’s really no benefit to having ridiculous expectations or giving yourself a hard time.”

What Can You Do to Reduce Your Risk? 

Early detection is one of the best ways to increase your chances of survival if you are diagnosed with breast cancer. However, there are other things you can do to reduce your risk as well

  • Get regular checkups and mammograms starting at age 40 or earlier if you have a family history?
  • Be physically active
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Limit alcohol consumption
  • Do not smoke
  • Reduce exposure to environmental pollutants and radiation 
  • Eat a healthy diet including plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains
  • Engage in protective practices during pregnancy and while breastfeeding
  • Consider genetic testing if you have a family history of breast cancer 

After the presentation, there was a question and answer session where employees could ask Dr. Urooj questions about breast cancer and its risk factors. Overall, the session was well-received by employees and provided valuable information about a very important topic. Breast cancer is a serious disease that affects millions of women worldwide. Early detection is crucial in increasing the chances of survival and treatment options. Respected Chairman “Syed Hashim Raza” was grateful to have had Dr. Urooj Akram come to speak with Hashi’s female employees and educate them on this important topic.

The session was well-attended, and all the employees left feeling more informed about breast cancer and how to protect themselves. Hashi GoC is committed to its employees’ well-being, and this session is just one example of that commitment. We hope that our employees can use the knowledge they gained yesterday to keep themselves healthy and cancer-free. 

With sustained effort, we can bring down the number of new breast cancer ex cases as well as the number of deaths due to this disease. We hope that our employees will use the knowledge they gained from this informative session to protect themselves and their loved ones from this dreaded disease. Doing better for ourselves because prevention is always better than cure.

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