The Breast Cancer Patients Benefit Foundation led by prominent cancer specialist, Dr. Sameer Kaul, on Saturday started its Central Drug Repository Program that will provide free medicare to the patients living below the poverty line.
“Breast cancer has emerged as main cause for death of women. Though we don’t have any database or figures, the disease is gradually on the rise in the Valley. There is a huge gap between healthcare and patients and the government alone can’t fight the disease. So we are here to provide timely relief to the patients without bureaucratic hassles and red tape,” Dr. Sameer Kaul, told reporters here.
Dr. Kaul, who also heads a Surgical Oncology Unit I at the Indraprastha Apollo Hospital, said early detection, was imperative for treatment of the patients. “However, we receive patients from Kashmir and other states who are in advanced stage of the disease. Time factor is imperative in treatment of the disease. The earlier, the patients reach us, higher the probability of their recovery,” he said.
The Breast Cancer Patients Benefit Foundation was formed in 2004 and has been providing financial assistance and medical aid to cancer patients in India and neighboring countries, including Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
He said the cost of treating cancer ranges from Rs 50,000 to 20 Lakh and most of the patients can’t afford it. “We are here to share their financial burden and make this society cancer free,” he said, adding that the Foundation aims to spread awareness about the disease among the Valleyites.
“We will try to provide knowledge at the doorstep of the people. It is our honest, philanthropic and moral endeavor to help the patients,” he said.
The Ex Director Tata Memorial Hospital Mumbai, Dr. K A Dinshaw blamed the urban lifestyle, late marriages, avoidance of breast-feeding for the increase in incidence of breast cancer.
“Women should be sensitive towards the symptoms and in case of discovery of any lump, they must consult a doctor,” Dr. Dinshaw said. She hailed Dr. Kaul’s endeavour and extended full support to the cause.
Among other who were present included Dr. Shahin Nooreyezdan, Reconstructive Plastic Surgeon; Dr. Deepali Kapoor, Clinical Onco-Psychologist; Sumit Nair, Chairman Delhi Fashion Week; Dr. Feroz Pasha, Surgical Oncologist; and Dr. Girish Telang, MD, Roche Pharmaceuticals.
Later they spoke on various aspects of the disease in a seminar ‘Breast Cancer Scenario 2009’. A large number of professionals, academicians, doctors and patients attended the function.
Former Chief Minister, Dr. Farooq Abdullah underscored the need for early diagnosis and timely treatment of the patients. “ Earlier, there was high prevalence of oesophageal and stomach cancer. The pattern is gradually shifting towards breast cancer. There is need for research and modern infrastructure to tackle the disease,” Dr Abdullah said “Our cancer fighting institutions should be so potent that people from across the Line of Control should also be benefited form them,” he said. Dr. Abdullah later pledged Rs 50 lakh towards a Mobile Breast Cancer Detection Unit.
Published from Apollolife dated May 2009