Fremont CA Fundraiser for Cancer Care Hospital Lahore
By Abdus Sattar Ghazali
The San Francisco Bay Area community held a fundraiser for Cancer Care Hospital and Research Center of Lahore, Pakistan. The event was held at the Chandni Restaurant, Newark CA on October 21, 2017.
Tashie Zaheer, President of the Urdu Academy of North America, welcomed Prof. Dr. Sheharyar, chairperson of the Cancer Care Hospital. Tahie Zaheer urged to audience to support the cancer care project with generous donations.
On his part, Dr Sheharyar, the Dean of the Faculty of Clinical Oncology, College of Physicians and Surgeons Pakistan, explained his ambitious plan to build a 400-bed modern cancer hospital spreading over an area of 27 acres of land.
The hospital will provide free of cost treatment to cancer patients and no patient will be refused.
Prof. Dr. Shaharyar is a well-known figure in the oncology community of Pakistan. He is known for his dedication and commitment to cancer patients and cancer research.He is a popular teacher of Physiology, Oncology and Radiobiology and has a teaching experience of 25 years. As a physician he has treated more than 100,000 cancer patients in the last 25 years of his career.
Prof. Dr. Shaharyar has been the President of the Pakistan Society of Clinical Oncology (2010 to 2014), a quarter century old constitutional and representative body of oncologists. He is also the Founder and the President of the Cancer Research Group Foundation (1999 to-date), the only organization that conducts multicentric cancer research in Pakistan. He is a Councilor from Pakistan for SAARC Association of Oncologists.
Dr. Shaharyar provided graphic statistics on the incidence of cancer in Pakistan which moved the audience. He said that the disease was on the rise in Pakistan but due to lack of treatment facilities only 20% patients were able to get treatment while 80% were denied the opportunity.
He informed that in the Punjab province only, 185,640 cancer cases were reported in 2016 while the well-known Shaukat Khanum Hospital has the capacity to treat only 10,500 cancer patients per annum. He said due to lack of cancer hospitals, 1,54,390 cancer patients were dying annually.
The Shaukat Khanum Hospital was established in December 1994 by well-known Pakistani cricketer-turned politician Imran Khan in memory of his mother.
Dr Shaharyar said every year 85,000 women were becoming patients of breast cancer while daily 423 cancer patients die in Punjab. In view of this deplorable state of affairs, they have decided to build a cancer hospital to provide free treatment. Dr Shaharyar said the cooperation of the business community and the general public was needed to complete the project.
Development of new treatment option for cancer
Professor Dr Shaharyar has developed new treatment options for breast cancer patients. Now a combination of chemotherapy and radiation can be given safely in early breast cancer and radiation can be effectively combined with radio-sensitizing drugs for the treatment of recurrent breast cancer. He has introduced the combined use of hormone therapy, chemotherapy and bisphoshonates in elderly patients with breast cancer. For patients with ovarian cancer a new cost-effective treatment option has been developed.
He has also been involved in developing innovative, unique and customized dosage schemes, protocols and treatment options for Pakistani patients with lung cancer, brain tumors and head and neck cancers. Most of this work has been published in scientific journals and has now been compiled as a book titled “Cancer Research and Publications – 1998-2012”, published by N.A. Printers, Lahore, ISBN:978-969-9650-00-0.
A salient feature of the fundraising event was a mesmerizing musical show to entertain the guests. Popular singer of the Bay Area Tina Mann thrilled the audience with her melodious presentation. Tina elated the guests with Urdu and Punjabi songs and ghazals. She was accompanied on tabla by Neil Parshad and keyboard by Vinod Krishna.