Begum Samina Alvi, wife of President Dr Arif Alvi, Wednesday welcomed the notice taken by the Supreme Court on rising cases of breast cancer in the country, saying joint efforts against the disease would lead to saving lives of thousands of women in the country. Speaking at a breast cancer awareness seminar at the Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industries (RCCI), she commended the order passed by the Supreme Court on provision of mammography facilities at all the public hospitals. A day earlier, Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed during the hearing of a case had taken notice of the increasing number of breast cancer patients and ordered availability of breast cancer screening facilities with female medical staff at the hospitals under the federal and provincial governments. Begum Alvi, who is leading the nationwide breast cancer awareness campaign, said the survival rate of breast cancer patients across the globe was about 95-98 percent compared with 45 percent in Pakistan due to late diagnosis. She proposed installation of a mammogram machine at every teaching hospital so as to train the medical graduates about breast cancer screening. She said Pakistan had the highest rate of breast cancer deaths in Asia due to late diagnosis at the third and fourth stages. One in every eight women in the country is at the risk of breast cancer, besides one woman falling victim to the disease every 13 minutes, she added. She pointed out that with a fifty percent female population, there was a need to shun the taboos affiliated with breast cancer to encourage women to seek timely medical consultation. Begum Alvi urged the women to practice self-detection and consult the doctor immediately on noticing any abnormality in their bodies. She said a healthy lifestyle, balanced diet, and physical exercise could improve the health of women and could also contribute to minimizing the chances of a fatal disease. She stressed upon men to extend support to women in their families suffering from breast cancer or in need of medical advice. Begum Alvi said a healthy and empowered woman could bring about a positive change in society. She invited the women to benefit from the business loans offered by the government and the State Bank of Pakistan.