October is recognized worldwide as Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences held an awareness session on breast cancer on October 30th, 2019at DSBS, NUMS Secretariat to increase attention and awareness to reduce the stigma of breast cancer through education on symptoms and treatment. The guest speaker for the occasion was Dr. Humera Latif (Fellow Breast Surgery) at Breast Clinic, CMH Rawalpindi who introduced the diverse audience of female students, faculty and staff to the sensitive topic of breast cancer.
The guest speaker gave a detailed presentation and talked about risk factors, stages of cancer and the treatment options available. She also highlighted that early detection helps in adequate diagnosis but women in Pakistan delay seeking help from a doctor due to denial of their symptoms, lack of awareness, stigma attached to breast cancer, costs associated, and fear of body image and hair loss.
After familiarizing the audience with the symptoms, myths and treatment procedures related to breast cancer, the guest speaker moved on to the practical steps to help detect breast cancer at an early stage. She detailed the steps for Monthly Breast Self-Exam and through photographs of actual cases, she demonstrated how to notice differences between normal and abnormal breast.
The interaction between the guest speaker and audience facilitated in debunking of myths related to breast cancer. The guest speaker also distributed brochures and the audience resolved to take the lessons learnt beyond this session to sensitize their family members and friends regarding breast cancer.