Early detection can save many lives: Tata Memorial Centre’s cancer awareness campaign

Present at launch was actor Emraan Hashmi who emphasised on educating people on how early detection and timely treatment can help save many lives

Actor Emraan Hashmi

Tata Memorial Centre, in collaboration with Times Now, launched Cancer Awareness Campaign on Wednesday to raise awareness on various types of cancer, its prevention and emphasise on importance of early detection, which can help save many lives.

Bollywood actor Emraan Hashmi was invited to promote the cause. Speaking at launch, Hashmi said focus should be on educating people about how cancer is not end of life.

“There are many misconceptions about cancer in India and one of the most common one is that cancer means death. The rate at which cancer is growing is alarming. It is estimated by 2030, there will be 2 in 3 people who will be suffering from cancer. My son is a kidney cancer survivor. So, timely detection and proper treatment can defeat cancer,” said Hashmi.

Apart from Hashmi, there was 18-year-old Ritesh Kumar, who is a testimony to how early detection and timely treatment can help beat cancer.

Originally from Gaya in Bihar, Kumar was detected with first stage bone cancer in 2007. Kumar was in class VI then and his family started his treatment immediately in Gaya.

Kumar was brought to Tata Memorial Hospital for treatment and in 2008, he was completely cured. Post treatment, Kumar returned to Gaya to complete his education.

Actor Emraan Hashmi with cancer survivor Ritesh Kumar at Tata-Times Now Cancer-Awareness Campaign launch
Actor Emraan Hashmi with cancer survivor Ritesh Kumar at Tata-Times Now Cancer Awareness Campaign launch

Talking to My Medical Mantra, Kumar said being diagnosed with cancer came as a shock to him and his family. “But we decided to fight the disease and with early treatment, I have been cured, said Kumar.

Last year, after clearing class 12, he shifted base to Mumbai for further studies. He is now a second year Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery (MBBS) student at Seth Gordhandas Sunderdas Medical College, Mumbai.

“I want to become a doctor and oncology is my subject of interest. I want to break the myth that cancer is not curable. When I visit Gaya, I do my bit of spreading the message there. “Cancer is curable, but lack of awareness among people about this needs to be tackled,” said Kumar.

Dr Shripad D Banavali, Head of Medical and Paediatric Oncology at Tata Memorial Hospital and who also treated Kumar, said 80 per cent cancers among children are curable. For this, early diagnosis is needed.

“With launch of cancer awareness campaign, we want to highlight importance of early diagnosis, screening of cancer and how it can be prevented,” said Dr Rajendra A Badwe, Director, Tata Memorial Centre.