(To build awareness, educate and empower women on Breast Cancer)

THINK PINK is a world-wide slogan for the month of October. A professor of global health at the University of Washington, in the university’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, Dr. Rafael Lozano says, “What we have found is that while countries such as the United Kingdom have been able to greatly lower risk of women dying from breast cancer, through better screening and treatment, countries with fewer resources are seeing their risks go up”. According to Dr. Rafael Lozano, researchers conclude, “It is clear from the data that since the late 1980s, women who develop breast cancer have had a better chance of surviving because early screening is working and treatment is working”.

Moreover, medical journals report that due to better detection through screening, improved surgical techniques, advanced effective treatments, and targeted use of radiotherapy are proving to be miraculous in saving lives.

I’ll say to that: Bingo! This is all good news to fight it out with the disease. To start with, “self-awareness” is the best doctor… “self-examination” is the best nurse. Each one, teach one.

Expanding on: THINK PINK, I had the honour of being with a group of wonderful, sparkling ladies on 23rd September 2012 at Emirates Tower Hotel, Dubai, UAE. My role was to recite poems from my book: An Indian Ode To The Emirates to the group known as: Brest Friends, who organize to connect up regularly to exchange their views on health, wellness, and challenges of breast cancer. Barring a couple of them (including me), these members have gone through the trauma of facing the reality of breast cancer. I would not term them as ‘survivors’. I thought of them as ‘warriors’, because they impacted me with their positive attitude. Full of verve, some of them are going on a trip to Antarctica, in November 2012.

Zulekha Hospital & Joyalukkas united for the cause of THINK PINK on 2nd October 2012 in Dubai, UAE. It was a very enlightening news conference, and matters regarding breast cancer awareness were discussed. The dignitaries who participated in the event were: Mr. Joy Alukkas, Mr. John Paul Joy Alukkas, Dr. Amer Sharif, Dr. Pamella Munster, Dr. Zulekha Daud and Dr. Kishen Pakkal. As a case study, Ms. Rizwana Imran (date of birth: 30.12.1981) told her story of how she was diagnosed as a breast cancer patient on 22nd February 2010. The trauma that she had gone through – totally took over and she broke down, as she was connecting with the audience. However, just before this issue was going for production, surprisingly, Rizwana has turned out to be very communicative! She has sent an essay of her entire journey from the beginning of the diagnosis to her recovery. In a nutshell: Rizwana frankly shares how she went through both physical and emotional fatigue. Chemotherapy was another jolt in terms of losing so much… With a small daughter and son, for the young Rizwana, life was really tough. She explains how her husband and mother along with other family members were helpful for her to get her life back. Today, she is cured; she is working in a bank and maintaining regular normal working hours. Rizwana wants to share her experience, so that she can play her part of positivity. She writes to me, “Dear Geeta, hope my message will give courage for others. I hope you will publish my message. This is my appeal to those who can accept my services for their organizations. Therefore, please give me a chance to prove myself. I want to work and at the same time, I want to spend my time with my family, as well. Of course, all this gets hectic for me…”

Bravo! Rizwana Imran. You have conquered the peak! Allah’s grace is bound to follow you everywhere…

With pride, we include Rizwana Imran’s photograph in our Photo-News section. Kindly click on:

Geeta Chhabra

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