“The direct benefit of cancer screening is early detection. A lot of patients we tend to are those who could be completely cured if their cancer is detected at the right time. Oral cancer, prostate cancer, breast cancer or cervical cancer are the most common kinds of cancer and can absolutely be screened. That is why we have started conducting cancer screening every week in many places,” said Dr Amol Wankhede, director of screening, ICS.
“Cancer screening is very important. In fact, that is the only way to cure the disease,” said Sheila Nair, Director, ICS.
Take the case of Sarita Rao (name changed); she was the most popular primary grade teachers among all her students. She was this happily satisfied mother of two children, both settled in the USA with their families. She was to get retired in a year’s time and she would have had the time of her life flying between USA and India, spending time with her husband and friends.
But God had a different plan. She would constantly have indigestion, perspiration, formation of lumps and swelling of legs. Each time she went to her family physician, she was told to follow a different medication. The surprising part was that she had never experienced all these symptoms at once. They were spread at a different but consecutive time span.
By the time her family doctor suggested her to undergo cancer screening, it was very late. She was detected with third stage breast cancer. This isn’t the case of Rao alone. Cancer detection at early stages could mean curing the disease. A lot of people in the country do not have enough access or knowledge about cancer screening, which could help in curing it.
“We have tied up with Doctors For You (DFY), a health centre at Mankhurd,” added Dr Wankhede. DFY is a non-profit organisation that caters to health emergencies in times of crisis. The organisation conducted a screening about 15 days ago and screened about 60 people, “We already have OPD’s in our Mankhurd Centre. We have this integrated tie-up with ICS which means that whoever comes to us for routine check-up, we counsel them to undergo the screening here. This is after making them understand that, cancer is curable if detected in the initial stages,” said Dr Amit Kumar Nohwar, co-founder of Mumbai Project at DFY.