Disease has no religion, no nationality, no ethnicity but one has a colour—thus Supreme Court of Pakistan goes pink.
We celebrated the World Cancer Day on 4th February. Supreme Court of Pakistan, for the first time in its history, got coloured in pink in solidarity with Pink Ribbon. In honor of World Cancer Day, the event to illuminate the SC in pink colour was organized by Pink Ribbon which continues to brave the taboos since its inception in 2004.
Why it is a taboo and why Pink Ribbon is so concerned about creating awareness for this disease? Let me explain.
As Marilyn Yalom writes in her ground-breaking study: A History of the Breast, “men and women are aroused by it, artists represent it, poets apostrophize it, babies are nourished by it, fashion and commerce fetishize it—and disease afflicts it”.
Interestingly and tragically, it is a sight of conflict and attention simultaneously. Such societal pressures, cultural conventions blended with ignorance about and obsession with a human organ creates this taboo. Pink Ribbon is not only about fund-raising events for cancer patients; it is primarily and ultimately about consciousness-raising events—to create an environment when its ok to claim your body. It might be a long journey for Omar Aftab, CEO Pink Ribbon, yet worth treading for.
Breast cancer attacks a woman as a female, as a wife, as a daughter, and as a mother, thus become a taboo to talk about, to deal with. Females suffering from breast cancer fear they have nowhere to turn to. Pink Ribbon is one such place where they can turn to, where they will not be proscribed. While dealing with this cancer, Pink Ribbon is not up against a particular disease only but a peculiar mindset—a mindset what mortifies a woman emotionally. Henceforth, she avoids going for early detection and get it treated in a timely manner.
Pink Ribbon has been making sustained and effective efforts to create awareness about breast cancer and the preventive measures which could be taken in this regard. Worth mentioning here that breast cancer stands at the top among all the cancers in Pakistan with the ratio of 38%.
Addressing to the audiences, Omar Aftab told, “it is indeed an honour for us to illuminate the highest court of appeal in Pakistan for such a noble cause. Thousands of precious lives are lost every year due to ignorance, late diagnosis and myths related to the breast cancer”.
Mr. Aftab further added, “despite the fact, that out of all the types of cancers, breast cancer is the only cancer that can be cured successfully if diagnosed at an early stage, whereas it is so unfortunate that this cancer alone claims 40,000 lives every year”.
According to the statistics, 10.2 million Pakistani women are at high-risk of developing breast cancer in their life time. Another important figure for today is that one in six deaths is from cancer and it is one of the leading causes of mortality worldwide; leaving 8.8 million people dead, with an expected rise of 70% over the next two decades.
Its time that we discard the myths, focus on more preventive measures and get ourselves educated on this very topic which is fundamental to human survival.
It is high-time to focus more on research for the preventive cure of cancer and let people know of the mechanism which leads to early detection. During the event, Mr. Aftab further added that breast cancer is one of the few cancer forms which could be cured if detected at an early stage.
It is highly unfortunately that despite the high chances of survival we are losing so many precious lives to this disease. There cannot be a more appropriate time than now to establish research with better facilities and for more accurate statistics.
Mr. Aftab, acknowledged the kind permission of Chief Justice of Pakistan, Saqib Nisar, to pink the supreme court in solidarity with the vision of Pink Ribbon.
Important to spell out here that Pink Ribbon is already building Pakistan’s first dedicated breast cancer hospital with the philanthropy which people rendered to this noble cause in Lahore and announced the establishment of the four breast cancer hospitals in all the provinces of Pakistan.