A Cancer Awareness and Screening Programme was held on Tuesday at Mangaldoi College in Assam’s Darrang district.
It was held on the eve of the functioning of the State of the Art Cancer Diagnostic and Treatment Centre at Mangaldai under the banner of Assam Cancer Care Foundation (ACCF), a public- private partnership venture between the Assam Government and the Tata Trust, ACCF with necessary support from Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) under CSR and in collaboration with Mangaldoi College and District Tobacco Control Cell, Darrang.
The day long programme which also included a free screening camp for common cancers like oral and cervical was ceremonially inaugurated by Sweety Gogoi Kalita, District Development Commissioner by lighting ceremonial lamp.
In her address she emphasized the need of extension of such awareness programmes at the grass root level to help the rural people know about the benefits of prevention, early detection and palliative care regarding cancer.
Earlier in his speech Dr Sanjiv Chopra – Chief Executive, Tata Trusts Cancer Care Programme while cautioning the youths about the risk of developing cancer at any stages of life, said , “No age is bereft of cancer and as we advance we find that now the cancer is inflicting the younger generation – thanks to the gain of modern civilization, pollution , lots of chemicals being used in day to day life and increased in consumption of both smoke and smokeless tobacco , probably leading to the changing incidents of cancer.”
On the other hand Dr Paul Sebastian, Head of Prevention Programme, Cancer Care, Tata Trusts explained that why death rate of cancer patients are high in Assam and North East.
“Every year 35,000 to 40,000 new cancer cases are detected in Assam. Unfortunately a majority of them, more than 75 per cent of them are in advanced stages,” Dr Sebastian maintained.
“In such situation the treatment is unlikely to be successful, the patient may die,” he added.
He further stated “Cancers are diagnosed in late stages due to lack of treatment facilities. Now with the construction of several hospitals that will be taken care of. But that alone is not enough until and unless our people in the society are not well aware about the causes of cancer, its symptoms, means to prevent cancer and how it could be detected earlier.”
Similarly Pankaj Das, State Lead (LPG), North East Region, BPCL, highlighted on the goodwill of the organization towards supporting the cause initiated by Tata Trusts and ACCF for bringing cancer care facilities into the region, that will enhance quality treatment and help develop the state in the health sector.
The inaugural function which began with the welcome address by Dr K K Nath, principal, Mangaldai College was also addressed by Dr Mridul Sharma, prominent oncologist, Dr Arzo Dutta, state consultant, National Tobacco Control Cell, Dr Ruplal Nunisa, joint director of health services, Darrang and Dr N K Beria, nodal officer, District Tobacco Control Cell among others.
A young cancer survivor also shared his bitter experience of tobacco chewing at the college level leading to developing of cancer on his vocal chord.