Bus launched for cancer screening

Bus launched for cancer screening
Highlights

With a longterm goal of reducing cancer burden among women, SVIMS has formally launched its Pink Bus initiative on Friday SVIMS Director Dr TS Ravikumar while launching the Pink Bus has sought financial support for cancer screening from State and Central governments By providing funding, cancer can be prevented significantly in the next 5 to 10 years, he opined

Tirupati: With a long-term goal of reducing cancer burden among women, SVIMS has formally launched its Pink Bus initiative on Friday. SVIMS Director Dr TS Ravikumar while launching the Pink Bus has sought financial support for cancer screening from State and Central governments. By providing funding, cancer can be prevented significantly in the next 5 to 10 years, he opined.

The Institute has a specific objective behind this initiative. It has decided to focus on the top three cancers – breast, lip/oral cavity and cervix and by screening women for these three cancers in stage I or II, the death rate can be reduced. The SVIMS is focusing on women, who fall below poverty line as they cannot afford screening.

As 80 per cent patients go to the doctor at stage III or IV, the cure rate has been minimal. Speaking on the occasion, Dr TS Ravikumar has said that in the second step they want to reduce the death rate in five years and cancer burden in 10 years. “We will educate the women to give up their habits, which causes cancer, and finally vaccination will be given for those required,” he stated and said that the SVIMS has the capability to address the three types of cancers.

If any patient falls in high risk category after cancer screening, she will be treated within 48 hours, he assured. “In a bundled screening, we do oral examination, breast examination, mammogram, if necessary, ultrasound of breast, self-examination teaching and cervix cancer screening called Pap smear. Under opportunistic screening in which patients come for one disease will be screened for others too, in future, we undertake screening for other non-communicable diseases,” Dr Ravikumar revealed.

This became necessary as annually 11.57 lakh people were getting cancers out of which 5.87 lakh are women as against 5.7 lakh men. As a result, the death rate in women was higher and 3.71 lakh women die of cancer in the country every year. In Rayalaseema alone, about 7,000 women die from cancer, he added. It may be recalled that the number of diagnosis in the US has been one third higher than India while the death rate is almost one third less there.

Hence, the goal of this Pink Bus and other cancer strategies was to reverse this scenario so that the existing 68 per cent death rate in India should become survival rate. For this, more people will be diagnosed early, more people are cured and those are not cured will be made to live with good quality of life, he maintained.

The Pink Bus will cover about 1.5 lakh to 2 lakh population in the first year covering Mangalam on the outskirts of Tirupati, Naravaripalle, Kammapalle, Settipalle, Ramachandra Puram and Vadamala Pet. The Director thanked the main donor Lalith Shah and others on the occasion.

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