Cancer in India: The fear factor associated with Cancer has a lingering presence in our society. A ray of hope amid the stigma that is associated with cancer in India, the Health Promotion Clinic (HPC) at the National Institute of Cancer Prevention and Research (NICPR) in Noida Sector 39 comes as a glimmer of hope. The centre has been striving not only to detect and diagnose the dreaded disease but also break the taboo tied to cancer. The NICPR has screened 7,400 patients since 2014. Among them a whopping 82% are female patients. The promoinent types of cancer that were found are Cervicval cancer (2%), breast cancer (0.06%) and oral cancer (0.05%).
“We hope to incorporate the lessons learnt from the HPC in the Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD) screening programme with some modifications. We are also doing similar projects in the tea gardens of Assam and in the bordering areas of Bangladesh in that state. We hope to be able to replicate the diverse strategies adopted in the three centres in the national programme,” NICPR director and noted oncologist Ravi Mehrotra said.
The clinic’s name has been kept in a such a way that people do not get scared by the ‘C’ word. It has been learnt that the clinic also makes sure they have medications for whatever diseases and conditions they come across — if required, patients are referred to AIIMS.
The clinic in Noida does not resemble the usual government health facility. ASHA workers and others have a punchline- “The woman is the engine of the family if she is well everybody stays well.” Generally, an SUV is sent to bring patients in the nearby village.The doctors and staff have been directed not to raise their voice. A doctor generally spends 20-25 minutes per patient, according to Dr Roopa Hariprasad. ”We have a liability to ensure that once a person is detected with cancer or any other disease, she gets the best care. So I talk to my friends in AIIMS and refer them there,” he said.