03-111 456 789Chughtai Lab - Sehat Ka Number - 03111456789

Archive for February 2020

The Silent Epidemic – Breast Cancer in Pakistan

“I am too young to die! Why me?” These are the words of a twenty seven year old woman having a son aged 7 months only. Salma had a painless lump in her left breast which she discovered a few days back. She had consulted a surgeon and was recommended an ultrasound of the lump. Ultrasound was done followed by FNAC (fine needle aspiration cytology) by a histopathologist.

After the procedure she had asked the histopathologist with a spark of hope in her eyes while carrying her cute 7 month old son, “I know its nothing! Nothing to be afraid of, but still, I am going for it as my doctor is insisting”.

The histopathologist had hoped the lump to be harmless, as it is very common among the women in their twenties but to her utter shock it came out to be a Category IV lesion (which is considered to be suspicious for malignancy). The histopathologist had no choice but to recommend a biopsy procedure (removal of a piece of tissue from the lump) in order to confirm such a lethal diagnosis. The biopsy test proved to be a highly aggressive form of breast cancer.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women both in the developing as well as the developed world. An estimated 508,000 women died of breast cancer in 2011 (according to WHO Global Health Estimates 2013). In Asia, Pakistan alone has the largest rate of breast cancer. An estimated 80,000 cases are being reported annually out of which 40,000 die eventually. THIS MEANS 1 IN EVERY 9 PAKISTANI WOMAN WILL DEVELOP BREAST CANCER AT SOME POINT IN HER LIFE!

Traditionally breast cancer was thought to be a disease of the middle aged and elderly women but surprisingly, today young patients like Salma are being diagnosed every day when they are at the peak of their lives. Salma is, just like every other young woman in her peak, pursuing her ambitions and dreams, leading a happy life with her caring husband not knowing that something is eating her alive inside her body. There are many girls and women like Salma fighting breast cancer and leading a painful life.

The prevalence of breast cancer in young patients is steadily increasing day by day at an alarming rate. Although considered to be rare for women in their twenties, it is the most common cancer in this age group. Unfortunately, studies show that younger patients face more aggressive cancers and lower survival rates than the middle aged or elderly.

A large number of women in Pakistan are diagnosed when cancer has already spread to other body parts, thus making the survival difficult.

A variety of factors are responsible for this, including poverty, lack of education and awareness, lack of access to screening tests, myths, etc. Cancer presents only as a small lump in the breast which grows slowly with the passage of time. Being painless, it is not taken seriously by many women especially in the rural areas, leading to uncontrolled growth. As a general rule, earlier the diagnosis, higher the chances of survival.

Self-examination is the single most useful tool in detecting breast cancer at its early stages. Women must examine both of their breasts on a regular basis to keep an eye on any lumps or masses. Self-examination combined with regular physical exams by a doctor, mammography, and ultrasound serves as an extremely effective tool for early diagnosis of such a lethal but preventable disease.

Note: Names have been changed in this article to protect the privacy of the individuals.

Read More

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV)A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans.

The first case of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) was first reported from Wuhan, China, on 31 December 2019. Till now 67,107 cases of coronavirus have been detected globally in 29 countries. The death toll as a result of coronavirus is 1,526 while 8,365 people have recovered from the disease.

Common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, the infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure, and even death.

Standard recommendations to prevent infection spread include regular hand washing, covering mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, thoroughly cooking meat and eggs. Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.

Who Should Get Tested?

  1. Suspect case

Patient with a history of travel to or residence in China during the last 14 days prior to symptom onset; severe acute respiratory infection (fever, cough, and requiring admission to hospital)

Patient with any acute respiratory illness AND at least one of the following during the 14 days prior to symptom onset:

  1. a) contact with a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19 infection
  2. b) Worked in or attended a health care facility where patients with confirmed or probable COVID-19 acute respiratory disease patients were being treated.
  3. An extremely worried person who wants to exclude the novel corona (COVID-19) virus infection
  4. Patients referred by a registered medical practitioner

Chughtai Lab is offering PCR based test for Coronavirus with results in 7 days.

Sample Required:

Nasal Swab

Throat Swab




Source: World Health Organization and World Meters

Read More


Tobacco smoke is incredibly harmful to human health. There’s no safe way to smoke. No matter how it is done, tobacco is dangerous to health. Replacing the cigarette with a cigar, pipe, or hookah will not help in avoiding health risks. The substances inhaled do not just affect the lungs, but the entire body.

There are no safe substances in any tobacco product. Cigarettes contain about 600 ingredients, which upon burning generate numerous chemicals. These chemicals enter the blood through the lungs and are poisonous to the body while some of them are even linked to cancer.

These chemicals can directly damage the DNA of the cell making them susceptible to mutations and subsequently cancer development. These chemicals also weaken our immune defense system, decreasing their ability to fight cancer cells. This way some cancers, which are not directly related to smoking, can grow in an unabated way due to impaired body defense. Some cancers are associated with viral infections. But due to an impaired defense system of the body of the smokers, these viruses are not killed, leading to cancer development.

Smoking can cause cancer almost anywhere in the body. But the most common sites include Lungs, Urinary bladder, Mouth, kidney, pancreas, and cervix. Recent work has also implicated smoking in the risk of some blood cancers. Literature confirms that continued smoking by cancer patients and survivors increases the overall death rate. However, the good news is that leaving smoking even after the diagnosis of any cancer in a smoker provides significant benefits.

Read More

Cancer Day Awareness Activities by Chughtai Lab

On International Cancer Day, Team Chughtai Lab conducted various community education sessions at Coca Cola plants throughout Pakistan including Lahore, Karachi, Faisalabad, Rahim Yar Khan, and Gujranwala.

Read More