Tata Memorial Hospital on Monday launched its mobile outreach programme in Trombay village, Mankhurd, for the early detection of breast, uterine cervix and oral cavity cancers in women.
The doctors are expected to examine at least 35,000 women, in the age group of 30 to 65 years.
“We are looking at the increased risk due to tobacco consumption in women. We will educate them about the hazards of tobacco and help them to get rid of the habit by enrolling them into tobacco cessation programme,” said Dr Gauravi Mishra, consultant, department of preventive oncology.
The women will be examined in the mobile screening clinic — a van equipped with an examination table and necessary instruments.
The vehicle, donated by the NGO, Women’s Cancer Initiative, will cover Trombay village and adjoining areas such as Pailipada, Mandala, PMGP colony, Maharashtra Nagar, Shivneri, and Mohite Patil Nagar.
“Trombay village area was never covered before by the hospital,” said Dr Mishra.
Five trained primary health workers and two women doctors of the hospital will man the van. If a woman shows symptoms suggesting cancer during the screening, she will be referred to Tata Memorial Hospital for further investigations.
If diagnosed with cancer or pre-cancer condition, she will be treated at the hospital, free of cost.
According to Dr RA Badwe, director, Tata Memorial Hospital, India has 2.5 million cancer cases.
Every year nine lakh new cases are added, whereas six lakh cancer patients die due to cancer.
“This large scale morbidity and mortality associated with cancer continues due to the single most important fact that cancer prevention and early detection services are almost non-existent in the country,” said Dr Badwe.
“More than 70% of the cases reporting for treatment in fairly advance stages of the disease. This situation can be reversed with cancer education, organised screening and early detection programmes,” Dr Badwe added.
Oral, breast and uterine cervix cancers account for 58% of all cancers among women in India. Currently, most of these patients are detected in advanced stages.
“If detected early and treated appropriately the cure rate for these cancers is almost 80-90%,” said Dr Surendra Shastri head of preventive oncology at Tata Memorial Hospital.