Begum Samina Alvi, wife of President Dr Arif Alvi on Wednesday said every eighth woman in Pakistan was at the risk of suffering from breast cancer and stressed the need for an urgent plan of action to reduce the growing number of such patients. Addressing at an awareness walk on breast cancer held here at the National Institute of Health (NIH), she said establishing a national cancer registry was need of the hour to formulate effective policies in line with the accurate database on the disease, including breast cancer. Begum Alvi said early diagnosis was the best way to check breast cancer instead of the expensive and painful treatment at later stages of the disease. She said in Pakistan with 0.1 million new cancer patients every year, breast cancer among topped the list of various forms of the disease. She emphasized on raising mass awareness in the society to shun taboos affiliated with breast cancer. Begum Alvi said a healthy woman could positively contribute to the society and advised the women to practice self-diagnosis, which could save precious lives. She said though October was marked across the country as the breast cancer awareness month, however stressed that the message needed to be spread persistently throughout the year. She urged the women parliamentarians to play a strong role in highlighting the issue in their constituencies and sensitize the people. Samina Alvi said she would visit all provinces in the current month to raise awareness among girls and women at schools and colleges about the breast cancer. Dr Faisal Sultan, Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on Health said the government was making efforts to strengthen the primary care centres to treat cancers of different kinds including breast cancer. Dr Nosheen Hamid, Parliamentary Secretary on Health said lack of awareness was the main reason behind the alarming death rate of 98 percent in patients with breast cancer in the country. Later, Begum Alvi led the awareness walk along with Executive Director NIH Major General Aamer Ikram, Parliamentart Secretary for Foreign Affairs Andleeb Abbas, doctors, researchers and women from all walks of life including the breast cancer patients.