A Bra That Could Get People Talking About Breast Cancer

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

How do you get women who never talk about breast cancer to start opening up?

That was the question on the mind of Usman Saleemi, who along with colleagues Tiya Fazelbhoy and Jaison Ben created a bra designed to encourage breast self-examination among women in Pakistan.

According to Pink Ribbon, a national breast cancer charity based in Lahore, Pakistan has the highest incidence of breast cancer in Asia. More than 40,000 women lose their lives to the disease each year.

But while many cases of breast cancer can be successfully treated, the very topic is taboo in Pakistan. In this conservative country, a woman may be embarrassed to bring up intimate details about her body.

The taboos are especially strong in rural Pakistan, where women are valued for their ability to bear children and look after a home. A woman may ignore signs of a possible tumor and not say a word to family. She may fear that if she becomes sick she’ll be seen as a burden. Or that if she has a mastectomy, her husband will no longer deem her attractive and will seek a divorce.

Source: NPR (link opens in a new window)

Health Care
public health