Government Medical College and Hospital at Sector 32 here would soon provide facilities for diagnosis of cancer among women at their doorstep soon. The GMCH has procured a state-of-the-art Rs. 1.60-crore mobile laboratory, set up in a bus, to offer different cancer diagnostic facilities.
"We will flag the bus off very soon to provide service to the people," said Dr Raj Bahadur, director-principal, GMCH-32. He also said that though the final decision on the charges for the tests was yet to be taken, it would in all likelihood be free of cost.
The bus, which has since reached the college, has equipment to conduct tests like mammography, breast ultrasound and ultrasound-guided fine needle aspiration (FNAC), a diagnostic procedure used to investigate superficial (just under the skin) lumps or masses and dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scan for measuring bone mineral density.
Besides technicians and other staff, the vehicle would have doctors from medical branches like pathology and radiodiagnosis, community medicine, a surgeon and a radiotherapist.
Hospital officials revealed that the mobile cancer diagnostic lab would be run in association with various non-governmental organisations in the city and region. "There are several NGOs which are working to spread awareness on cancer. We will rope in these NGOs to hold cancer screening tests across the city. We will send our mobile laboratory to the spots on their requests," said Dr Raj Bahadur.
The GMCH director also pointed out that in case residents welfare associations wanted to organise such camps, the hospital would extend support to them as well.
The patients diagnosed with cancer after tests on the mobile lab would be enrolled for surgery and radiotherapy treatment at GMCH-32.
According to experts, regular screening tests are the only way to lower breast cancer mortality rate. "If the disease is diagnosed at an early stage, survival chances increase," pointed out Dr Raj Bahadur.
Significantly, in April last, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) here had launched 'Asha Jyoti', a women's healthcare outreach mobile programme, which was also equipped with a micro-dose digital mammography unit for breast evaluation, a DEXA scan for measuring bone density and a digital video colposcope for examination of the cervix.
Services on wheels
Ultrasound guided fine needle aspiration (FNAC),
Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA)