“It's also very important for the men in our family"
Mahira Khan has called for men to be open when it comes to women having breast cancer, stating that it could help diagnose and treat the disease earlier.
The actress has been heavily involved in the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital Research Centre (SKMCH) Breast Cancer awareness programme for the last 10 years.
Mahira expressed how she believes that men should open themselves to conversations about breast cancer.
She said: “It’s very important for people in Pakistan to realise that one out of every nine women in the country is affected by it. That’s a very big number.
“It’s also very important for the men in our family to talk about it openly.
“The problem really arises when women can’t speak because they are afraid of what their husbands, brothers, and their sons might think.”
Talking about her experience working with SKMCH, Mahira added:
“It’s been 10 years since I have been working with Shaukat Khanum Memorial hospital for breast cancer awareness.
“So, whenever anyone approaches me with the same thought, I am readily onboard.”
Mahira went on to explain that there has been an improvement in how breast cancer is understood in the last 10 years.
“But the difference between girls and women of now and 10 years ago is visible.
“The understanding of the disease, the precautions, the awareness, the know-how of the symptoms – I feel like we have made a difference.
“There’s more awareness now.
“People talk about breast cancer. Do you know, earlier people wouldn’t even talk about this because there’s a certain shame attached to breast cancer?
“They were irked by the word breast itself. They used to feel shame. This is an issue we have faced time and again. The shame.
“I want to ask the reason – breast is just another body part.”
Mahira Khan explained that it could lead to earlier diagnoses.
“You can come out of it. So, early detection is very important as well.”
“I have said it before and I am saying it again: self-examination is the key. You have everything at your fingertips. Educate yourself. Be aware.”
According to official statistics on breast cancer, one in four of all cancers in women worldwide are breast cancer-related.
But medical science has made strides in the early detection and management of the devastating disease.
Mahira Khan has taken the lead in raising crucially important attention to the matter.
Speaking of one’s breasts is undoubtedly a taboo topic in South-Asian society, as we all know – open-minded conversations should be encouraged concerning female health.