Pink Ribbon is commemorating PINKtober – A Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Breast Cancer is the most common cancer among women worldwide. Average 90,000 cases are being reported while 40,000 women die from breast cancer every year in Pakistan, which is the highest rate of breast cancer in Asia. These statistics show that over 10 million women in Pakistan are at risk of Breast Cancer.

The mortality rate is so high in Pakistan because 70% of Breast Cancer patients come for treatment at stage III and most of them do not seek treatment due to lack of awareness, societal taboos and stigmas attached with the disease. On the other hand, Incompetent health care system, lack of healthcare facilities, absence of female consultants and financial issues are some barriers to screening, early diagnosis and treatment-seeking for women with symptoms.

The average age of Breast Cancer incidence is 55 years worldwide whereas, in Pakistan, the maiden age is 35. It is a rare trend that young girls are being diagnosed with breast cancer. This increasing trend is an alarm for health policymakers.

Pink Ribbon has dedicated the month of October to raise awareness among the masses because it is important to educate people about prevention and early detection. If breast cancer is detected at an early stage, the chances of survival are more than 90%.

Pink Ribbon has brought a change in the society, but still, it is difficult to talk about breast cancer, especially in rural areas. We are making efforts to reduce breast cancer stigma and improve access to information, screening and treatment.