– By Anum Yousaf Khan
NUST Science Society, in collaboration with Shaukat Khanum Memorial Trust, organized their annual session regarding ‘Breast Cancer Awareness’ at ASAB Seminar Hall, on September 17, 2012. This session aimed to promote alertness regarding prevention and early diagnosis of breast cancer among women, who happen to be the higher risk targets.
Breast Cancer is a pressing health issue globally, accounting for 400,000 deaths annually. Surprisingly, a large portion of these mortalities are preventable only through early detection. Asian women are prone to this illness at a younger age (approximately 10 years younger) than their western counterparts. With this event NUST Science Society promoted their ‘be a survivor, not a statistic’ September campaign.
Dr Ayesha Riaz, expert nutritionist at Shaukat Khanum Memorial Hospital, took the audience through a tour of cancer growth process, risk factors, signs and symptoms, diagnostic and screening tools, and treatment options. A major focal area of this session was significance of nutrition in relation with cancer. The speaker stressed on the importance of a balanced and healthy diet.
Dr. Ayesha described the instinctive need to feel healthy and cure illness, as inborn. Similarly, breast cancer, too, demands timely attention, followed by diagnosis and treatment. She appreciated the overwhelming and enthusiastic response from students.
“Breast Cancer is not a taboo. It’s a disease”, stressed Dr. Ayesha, as she regretfully discussed the hesitance of women to come forward with this condition. Regarding her experience, she said, “It was our excellent experience delievering presentation at NUST to such excellent dynamic students.”
Shaukat Khanum’s marketing manager, Ms. Naila Khan, delighted in the spirit exhibited by the congregation, which was dressed in pink on the occasion. She recognized spreading of knowledge as a responsibility upon every one who has access to it. “It is always a pleasure to be at NUST. The student involvement is exemplary”, said she.
“It could be a matter of life and death for another person” is how she put it. She informed the attendants regarding Shaukat Khanum Hospital’s ‘One Stop Breast Clinic’ which performs necessary diagnosis within a 24 hour period and ‘Walk-in’ clinics that provide free consultation to diagnosed cancer patients.
The event was successfully coordinated by Haleema Bhatti from Atta-ur-Rahman School of Applied Biosciences. Presiding the session, chief guest Dr. Asghari Maqsood, expressed her gratitude towards the admirable guests for their time and NUST Science Society for providing the opportunity for exposure. An exciting addition to the programme was a puzzle designed to test the knowledge gained by the participants, with correct answers earning them a prize.
– The author is executive member of NUST Science Society and a Junior at School of Chemical and Materials Engineering.
– Picture Credits: Sarah Ansari