IBA Karachi hosted Breast Cancer Awareness Seminar at Students Center
October 17: IBA Karachi is proud to play a part in the fight against breast cancer. As part of the Breast Cancer Awareness Month, IBA hosted a Breast Cancer Awareness seminar at Students Center, Main Campus. The event was held in collaboration with the team of Chugtai Lab in which different speakers came and shed light on the topic in discussion. The session was organized to give awareness about breast cancer and the ways in which it can be detected before it becomes too dangerous. The hall was filled with a large audience consisting of students and faculty members, who were eagerly looking forward to the seminar.
October is a Breast Cancer Awareness month. This year Chughtai Lab wants everyone to #ThinkPink and talk about breast cancer awareness. If detected early it can be cured. According to the facts, 1 in 8 women in Pakistan will be affected by Breast Cancer in her lifetime.
The session began with an interactive lecture by Dr. Sehba Arij Khan, (Consultant pathologist at Chughtai Lab) that included important facts about breast cancer, its symptoms, risk factors and how one can prevent it. She went on to say, "You are basically at risk if you are obese, have a family history, are above 50 and lead a sedentary lifestyle." She informed the audience that family history can increase the risk of developing breast cancer, but it is also observed that most women with breast cancer have no family history. According to recent statistics, 97% of breast cancer cases occur, where there is no family history. Dr. Sehba also mentioned that if you are taking a nutritious and low fat diet, you can reduce the risk. A diet that contains a high amount of fat can increase the risk because fat triggers estrogen that fuels tumor growth. While shedding light on the importance and procedure of a self-examination, Dr. Sehba said that a woman should give herself a through breast self-exam at least once in a month. One should look for changes in breast tissues such as change in size, inversion of nipple, redness of the breast skin or any discharge or secretion from the nipple. Moreover, she listed a checklist for breast cancer care which included: Look and feel your breast so that you know what is normal for you, do this regularly to check for changes and tell your doctor as soon as possible if you notice anything.
The stage hummed with positive energy as Ms. Muniba Mazari (Head of Corporate Social Responsibility at Chughtai Lab), a Pakistani artist, writer and motivational speaker, took charge of the stage. She started by discussing her own personal experience briefly, followed by an emphasis on the right of every woman to know about this fatal disease and encouraged the audience to talk about this disease with their friends and families rather than considering the issue a social taboo. She said that, "Breast cancer comes with symptoms but casualties like the one that made me paralyzed do not come with prior notice so don't take this for granted. Examine yourself!!" she said as she grabbed the attention of the audience from the very start. She went on to talk about the taboo attached to Breast cancer and how eastern women feel shy to address this issue due to various reasons. Amongst many explanations she gave about people not comfortable around this discourse of Breast cancer, Ms. Mazari emphasized on women being afraid of ruining their marriages if they get treated and have alterations in their bodies. "It's your soul and spirit that makes you who you are; not any of your body organs," she concluded her speech.
Before leaving the stage, Ms. Muniba introduced Mrs. Asma Nabeel- Head of Films at Crew Motion Pictures as well as a writer, advertising enthusiast, poet, lyricist, and a cancer survivor. She started by showing a short video of her journey of fighting with the disease that began after diagnosis of third stage Breast cancer back in November 2013. She was kind enough to share her entire experience and the difficulties she faced with a smile on her face. She advised, "Being the younger part of the society and the youth, you can spread the word more than I or Muniba can".
Ms. Asma said, "I have endured hardships in my life but every time I came out of a challenging situation, I only become stronger. The thought that makes me unstoppable is that one should try honestly for whatever he or she wants and even if you don't get it, you should not be discouraged. Always see and seek what's ahead," she said as she shared her outlook on life."
All three speakers at the Breast Cancer Awareness session emphasized the need to promote & spread the knowledge that if detected early breast cancer can be cured and to not make the word 'breast' a stigma or taboo. If there is a problem then get it looked at by a proper physician to assess the best course of action. They also encouraged each attendee to go home and spread the information to the less informed like maids and house help as the more the awareness the better the outcome to combat this disease! With resonating ideas and lessons to take back, the session on Breast Cancer marked its end.