Dr. Humera threw some light on Breast Cancer Troubles

If you don’t think this disease impacts your physical health, then think again. All of these emotions trigger chemical reactions in your body, which can lead to inflammation and weakened immune system. Social Diary took an exclusive interview of Dr. Humera (Islamabad based Breast Cancer Specialist), where she shared her valuable and authentic views relevant to how women and men become victims of it, depression and psychological problems that arise because of it; so how to prevent it…Here you can see!

What is the definition of a young woman in the context of breast cancer?

In Europe and America, Breast Cancer is common after 50 years of age whereas it’s more common between 40 and 50 years below 40 patients are considered young.

What is the definition of survivor?

Survivor is the one who has completed treatment for breast cancer and has got cured and leading a normal life.

What are the unique issues facing these younger women diagnosed with breast cancer?

Younger women with breast cancer are much more affected psychologically. Moreover their disease tends to grow faster as compared to old age; their disease has more aggressive features. They are more worried about consequences of disease as well as treatment particularly hair loss cosmetic deformity, sexual problems, and in fertility.

Do young mothers want to get genetic testing for their daughters?

Yes they do…

What specific types of treatment and associated side-effects are of greatest concern for young women who survive breast cancer?

Cosmetic deformity with surgery.  Hair loss cessation of menses and infertility with chemotherapy, psychological problems & marital issues.
What are some of the most common side-effects of these treatments?

Body image is a big problem. Usually husbands leave their ailing wives and then they become dependent on their parents.

How about sexual difficulties, including such issues as body image? Are these common issues?

Sexual issues are common but some husbands do cooperate and take care of their wives.
Males do suffer from breast cancer. It is 1% of all breast cancers but now more patients have started reporting because of improvement in awareness level.
How about financial concerns?

Cancer treatment is no doubt expensive but thanks to PAEC hospitals like NORI in Islamabad where about 70% patients are treated free of cost. Also helped by welfare funds including Zakat and Baitulmaal. Only affording patients are charged and even these charges are much lower as compared to private setup. Also even for affording patients, all the medicines are provided at subsidized rates by pharmacy working under patient’s welfare society as is NORI Patients welfare society.
Are there current treatments for the side effects?  How about other side effects such as fatigue, insomnia, and cognitive problems?

Most of the side effects are reversible and treatable like hair re-grow as soon as chemotherapy gets completed. Menses restart depending on age and women do give birth to children after completion of treatment. These problems do exist; patients are advised to adopt healthy lifestyle and dietary habits, do regular exercise and quit smoking.
Is the procedure of treatment of Breast Cancer in males and females similar or something different?
Treatment of male and female breast cancer is similar but it depends on stage level.

This disease is increasing in Pakistan day by day… So give us an idea that what is the approx ratio in Pakistan and other countries?

In South Asia, Pakistan has got the highest incidence of breast cancer. According to NORI cancer registry out of 3 female cancer patients one is having breast cancer.

Do you have a take-home message?

Breast cancer is preventable, treatable and curable. Get rid of fear factor and fight this disease bravely. Allah has not created any disease for which he has not sent cure.
“Survivor is the one who has completed treatment for breast cancer and has got cured leading a normal life…”



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