First Lady Begum Samina Alvi Friday said massive awareness and self-examination was vital to help early diagnosis of breast cancer and save lives from the otherwise deadly disease. The First Lady, addressing an awareness session on breast cancer held here at the Aiwan-e-Sadr, said the disease was treatable if diagnosed timely, which was possible only through self-examination from time to time. She also urged the women to share their disease with the family members without any hesitation. She said the timely diagnosis and awareness could help save lives, and also urged the women to spread messages to others. She also thanked the Shifa International Hospital for organizing the session and reminded that a countrywide drive on breast cancer had also been carried out in the recent past and efforts were also underway to create awareness on the disease in coordination with the international organizations. She hoped that the massive awareness would also help address the queries and doubts in the women’s minds. Begum Alvi said hiding the disease in the name of taboo was not a solution rather it was essential to speak up on it to help the women get early diagnosis and thus protect their lives. She advised the women to visit the doctor annually for clinical examination particularly those above 40 age as it was easy to treat the disease if detected timely. She said in case of any change, the women should immediately consult the doctor and get screening. The First Lady told the audience that an awareness campaign was already in progress in cooperation with public and private sectors as several such events were also held on the subject. She also urged the educationists and relevant organizations to create awareness and hold such sessions at educational institutions and mainstream, particularly the digital media could play a vital role in that regard. He also thanked the SIH for the session as well as arranging free screening and mammography for the female employees of the Aiwan-e-Sadr. The session included presentations on different important topics regarding breast cancer by Radiation Oncologists of Shifa International Hospital. Dr Uzma Qasim, Radiation Oncologist, SIH began with an overview of breast cancer followed by prevention. Dr Hira Asim, Radiation Oncologist, SIH, highlighted the importance of early diagnosis, including the self-examination that could be done by women at home. Dr Uzma Qasim and Dr Hira Asim explained to the audience that general risk factors of breast cancer included age, genetics, family history, inherited factors, obesity, not having children, high breast density, certain breast changes, menstrual history, and sedentary lifestyle. Dr Farah Naz Ansari, Medical Director, Shifa Integrated Healthcare Technologies (SIHT), a sister organization of Shifa International Hospital in her closing remarks appreciated the efforts and interest of the First Lady in leading the breast cancer awareness campaign in the country. She also vowed her resolve to continue organizing such awareness activities for breast cancer awareness among the masses.