Assam Cancer Care Foundation organises Cancer Awareness Programme in Guwahati and Darrang on World Cancer Day 2020

  • The awareness programme was organised in GMCH Academic Hall in Guwahati (in collaboration with the State Cancer Institute) and in Sipajhar College in Darrang [in collaboration with the National Health Mission, Darrang, supported by Bharat Petroleum (BPCL)], on the occasion of World Cancer Day
  • Cancer survivors, Kunjalata Medhi and Shakti Mukherjee spoke on the occasion
  • The programme aimed to create awareness and sensitise people about cancer and prevention of common cancers
  • Dignitaries in Guwahati included Dr BC Goswami, Director, State Cancer Institute, GMCH; Dr K Bhuyan, Superintendent, State Cancer Institute, GMCH; Dr Arundhati Deka, State Programme Officer, National Tobacco Control Programme, Assam; Dr Dinesh Goswami, Medical Director, Guwahati Pain and Palliative Care; Gautam Chintey, Project Director, ACCF; and Kunjalata Medhi, cancer survivor
  • The awareness programme was organised at Darrang under the MoU signed between BPCL and Tata Education and Development Trust on the occasion of World Cancer Day
  • The programme aimed to create awareness and sensitise people about cancer and prevention of common cancers
  • A screening camp for oral and breast cancers, hypertension and diabetes was also organised in the college premises
  • Dignitaries in Darrang included Dr RL Nunisa, Joint Director, Directorate of Health Services; Dr J Kataki, CMHO and DNO, Darrang; Dr Nirmal KR Beria, SDMHO (PH) cum District Nodal Officer, Darrang; Nani Saikia, Executive Director, SATRA; Dr Mridul Sharma, Associate Professor, Head and Neck Oncology, State Cancer Institute; Shakti Mukherjee, cancer survivor; and Dr Sangamitra Das, Lead, Palliative Care, ACCF

Guwahati: On the occasion of the Word Cancer Day 2020, Assam Cancer Care Foundation (ACCF) organised a Cancer Awareness and Screening Programme in Guwahati and Darrang. The programme was in collaboration with the State Cancer Institute (SCI) in Guwahati.

The Cancer Awareness Programme organised by Assam Cancer Care Foundation at the GMCH Academic Hall in Guwahati on World Cancer Day 2020 saw a packed audience

Well-known dignitaries grace the dais at the Cancer Awareness Programme organised by Assam Cancer Care Foundation on World Cancer Day 2020

The Cancer Awareness Programme organised by Assam Cancer Care Foundation on World Cancer Day 2020 aimed to create awareness and sensitise people about cancer and prevention of common cancers

ACCF, supported by Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) and in collaboration with Sipajhar College and National Health Mission, Darrang, had also organised a Cancer Awareness and Screening Programme at Sipajhar College on World Cancer Day 2020.

World Cancer Day is celebrated every year on February 4. It focuses on empowering communities and individuals across the world to show support, raise collective voice, take personal action and press governments to work towards designing policies for better cancer care. The programme in GMCH aimed to create awareness on the leading causes of cancer like high consumption of tobacco, betel nut, etc, and to sensitise people about cancer and the prevention of common cancers.

The Director of SCI, Dr BC Goswami said, “The high incidence of cancer particularly in North East India, in comparison to the rest of the country, makes it difficult for the existing infrastructure in the state to cater to the demand. It is hence essential that the state infrastructure is built and human resource developed to meet the need. Fortunately, the ACCF is coming up with state-of-the-art cancer hospitals across the state and the SCI is being upgraded as an apex cancer centre in the region. Once functional, we will be able to treat the cancer patients within the state and make cancer care accessible.”

Breast cancer survivor Kunjalata Medhi shared her brave story of fighting against cancer for years. She said, “My battle against cancer is a journey from fear to being courageous with the determination of defeating the disease. The most important factor in defeating cancer is to make yourself aware about the disease, the signs and symptoms and the preventive measures. My constant reading and self-awareness helped in diagnosing cancer at an early stage. The survival rates are high for early stage cancers, especially breast cancer. You need to go on despite the repression and anxiety, and make cancer a part of you — not your entire life.”

The programme in Sipajhar College also aimed to create awareness on the leading causes of cancer like high consumption of tobacco, betel nut, etc, and sensitise people about cancer and the prevention of common cancers. A screening camp was also organised with the help of the NHM, Darrang, where nearby communities were mobilised to get themselves examined in the camp. Screening is important since a few cancers, especially oral, breast and cervical cancer, can be cured if detected at an early stage.

The Chief Guest, Dr RL Nunisa, Joint Director, Directorate of Health Services, said, “The NHM is a large network across the state and the country and their work in cancer care through the NCD cell is very essential for cancer control. ACCF is taking active steps in Darrang to make the NCD screening a success along with the NHM.”

Shakti Mukherjee, cancer survivor, spoke about the importance of a healthy lifestyle and how awareness, screening and community support helped him survive polyp cancer. He urged everybody to undergo screening and adopted preventive measures against cancer. He said, “Today, every moment is emotional and I cherish each one. I feel even better today than I felt before diagnosis. I’ve always believed that even when life is hard, it is still great to be alive. That feeling has only strengthened after being diagnosed and coming out of it.”

Dr Arundhati Deka, State Programme Officer, National Tobacco Control Programme (NTCP), Assam, said “Tobacco is responsible for causing 90 percent of all oral cancers. As per the GATS 2017 survey, 48.2 percent of the adult population in Assam consumes some form of tobacco. We need to focus on enforcement of laws and engagement with youth for community awareness and empowerment. NTCP will work more intensely across the eight catchment districts of ACCF in Assam.”

Dr D Goswami, Founder of the Guwahati Pain and Palliative Care Society, also spoke on the concept and philosophy of palliative care in cancer. He emphasised the need of palliative care among cancer patients and instilled a sense of responsibility among health care professionals.

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