Begum Samina Alvi said the awareness campaign about breast cancer wasyielding results as now its severity was being realized and discussed by the masses. Addressing a breast cancer awareness function arranged by the Raabta, Sarena Hotels, the First Lady stressed that the barriers of social and cultural taboos should be broken and women should be encouraged to come forward for early screening. The womenfolk should not feel shy or hesitation in discussing the issue as it was a curable disease, she said.

"The early detection of this fatal disease can save many precious lives," she added.

Begum Alvi further informed that they were making efforts to set up call centers to facilitate women often shy of discussing the health related issue with family members and friends.

Mrs. Alvi observed that 50 per cent of the country's population comprised women, therefore, it was imperative to provide them health facilities.

She urged the welfare and non-governmental organizations to join hands in the breast cancer campaign by providing health incentives and facilities especially to the under-privileged women of the country.

She also appreciated the media's role in raising awareness about the fatal diseases. The Pakistan Telecommunication was requested to send awareness messages to masses, she further said.

Strong family support was a key to fast recovery, she referred to another factor. Begum Alvi further said that in Pakistan, the prevalence of the breast cancer was very alarming as it was among the top countries of the region where women were affected with this disease.

“The emphasis is, women should not feel shy or get afraid to discuss the disease with their families and friends,” she said while taking part in a panel discussion. She observed that treatment of this disease was also expensive and efforts should be made to provide treatment to the poor women.

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