• Wednesday, Dec 11, 2019
  • Last Update : 05:18 am

Speakers: Superstitions obstructing breast cancer diagnosis, treatment

  • Published at 10:02 pm October 16th, 2019
Cancer awareness Bangla Tribune
Speakers at the workshop titled “Breast Cancer Self Screening” for female journalists at Bangla Tribune office in Dhaka on Tuesday, October 15, 2019 Courtesy

They made the observation while speaking at a workshop titled “Breast Cancer Self Screening” for female journalists at Bangla Tribune office in Dhaka on Tuesday

Speakers at a workshop in Dhaka said superstitions and common belief in rural Bangladesh regarding breast cancer have created a barrier in receiving treatment and increasedthe risk of death from the disease.

They made the observation while speaking at a workshop titled “Breast Cancer Self Screening” for female journalists at Bangla Tribune office in Dhaka on Tuesday.

Bangla Tribune and Rotary Club of Dhaka Mavericks jointly organized the workshop as a part of its “3rd International Cancer Medical Mission 2019,” in line with the World Breast CancerAwareness Day observed every year on October 10.

Three cancer specialists from World Health of Portland Maine of United State (US), Founder President of Partners World Health and Cancer Specialist Dr Elizabeth McAllen, Cancer Surgeon Dr Susan Hoekstra and Physiotherapist Mery Burg, spoke at the workshop.

Addressing the workshop, Dr Elizabeth McAllen said: “The saddest part is, even when women face problem with their breasts, they hesitate to take medical help.

“There are a number of superstitions among women in rural areas where they believe that if there is any problem with their breasts, they will not be able to get married. Some even believe that their husbands might leave them over the issue.”

The female journalists present at the workshop organised by Bangla Tribune Courtesy

Conducted by Rotarian and Nutritionist Sushmita Khan, the workshop was also addressed by Bangla Tribune Editor Zulfiqer Russell and Rotarian and Cancer Awareness related Project Director Shams Rashed Joy.

The speakers also noted that the problem deepens as most rural women tend to prefer homeopathy, Ayurveda or a “quack doctor”for remedy instead of visiting an actual specialist for treatment.

Noting that any woman can get breast cancer irrespective of such in their family history, the speakers also said breast cancer can be cured if treatment is provided at the right time.

“If any woman, especially those who are above the age of 40, has any issues with her breasts, she must immediately visit a doctor for a mammography test.

Every year, 12,764 women are diagnosed with breast cancerin Bangladesh alone.

From 2017, the Rotary club has been organizing the mission and on October 12-13, the workshop was organized in different places across the country to raise awareness on breast cancer.