Medical experts say a substantial amount of breast cancer cases can be prevented through maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Speaking on the occasion of Breast Cancer Awareness Day on October 10, they emphasized on self breast examination saying breast cancer can be cured if detected at the early stage.
Bangladesh Cancer Awareness Forum comprising 11 organisations, including ICDDR,B, AhsaniaMissionCancerHospital and Centre for Cancer Prevention and Research, organized a rally and a discussion in the capital to mark the day.
The other members of the newly built forum include Aparajita Society Against Cancer, YWCA, Bangladesh Cancer Society, National Institute of Cancer Research and Hospital (NICRH) and Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU).
Dr Md Habibullah Talukder, coordinator of the forum, and associate professor and departmental head of cancer epidemiology at the NICRH, said deaths from breast cancer can be reduced significantly if appropriate measures are taken to detect the disease at the early stage.
Dr Dewan S Alam, acting director of the Chronic Disease Centre at ICDDR,B, stressed self-examination of both breasts once a month.
“If she feels anything unnatural, then she should go to a doctor or a health professional,” he said.
To mark the day, the forum brought out a colorful rally on Thursday morning from Shahbagh and paraded different thoroughfares before ending it in front of the National Press Club in the capital.
Wearing pink, carrying banners and festoons, around 400 people from different walks of life including physicians, social activists and journalists took part in the rally.
At the end of the rally, a brief discussion was held where
Dr Dewan, Dr Talukder and Mosharrat Jahan Sourav, executive director of CCPR, among others, spoke.
In the evening, a discussion-cum-cultural function was held at the Robindra Sorobor in DhanmondiLake. A large number of people mostly women took part and enjoyed important discussions on the breast cancer and songs alternately.
With Fardaus Mobarok, a social activist and senior reporter at The Daily Star, presenting the discussion and cultural function, a number of physicians, breast cancer survivors, cancer researchers, spoke a the discussion.
Dr Mahbub-Ul-Alam, senior consultant at the AhsaniaMissionCancerHospital and Dr Habibullah Talukder discussed the prose and cons of the breast and cancer and the way to curb its prevalence in the society.
Breast cancer survivors — poet Kazi Rozy, Tahmina Gaffar who is also treasurer of Aparajita Society Against Cancer and Rokeya Rumi – shared their experiences and inspired to people particularly women to include breast self examination in their monthly routine.
Among others, Dr Talukder and Dr Syeda Shabiha Shubhan, associate professor of microbiology department at the National Institute of Cardiovascular Disease, performed songs.
Dr Shamim Iqbal, assistant scientist at the Chronic Disease Centre of the ICDDR,B, and Dr Shamsun Nahar among others were present at the discussion.