500,000 people die of cancer each year in India. Women in impoverished villages are vulnerable due to lack of awareness and screening. Common cancers in women are cancers of the oral cavity, breast and cervix. These can be prevented and treated when detected early with inexpensive screening. Our project involves sending our mobile unit with doctor and nurses to impoverished communities to create awareness and conduct cancer screening, to save poor women unable to afford even basic screening.
Tamilnadu has the 5th highest incidence of cancer deaths in India. Women in Tirunelveli, Tamilnadu are very vulnerable to oral, breast and cervical cancers due to prevalence of risk factors. Tobacco products manufacturing is a major cottage industry in Tirunelveli employing mostly women. Currently, there is no cancer screening program with a systematic referral for treatment within Tirunelveli district. Consequently cancer detection is delayed until advanced stage when treatment is ineffective
Our mission is to go to the people. Our project involves visiting the people in their villages to create cancer awareness and conduct screenings. Since 2011 our team (trained by Cancer Institute, Chennai) is performing oral cancer screening, clinical breast examination and cervical screening using VIA and PAP smear tests. Persons presenting with the disease, lesions, abnormal cell changes etc. are referred to a specialist for diagnosis and treatment at very early stage when it can be cured.
A key to cancer control is early detection through reliable screening protocols and procedures. Screening provides the best opportunity for patients to get the right treatment at the right time, resulting in complete cure. Screening and awareness are important to impact various levels of community health and knowledge. Screening technologies along with the Centers varied activities, can assist to improve short term and long term conditions of morbidity and mortality from cancers.