By: Peimiror | Date - 4th November 2019

CANCER!!! The word that never fails to brew up a melancholic emotion. We have learnt so much, yet know so little about the staggering statistics and the alarming reality of this horrendous malady.

Fortunately, we were given an opportunity to visit Adyar Cancer Institute, Chennai, one among the top cancer institutes in our country, on 4th of November, 2019 through the Medical Education Cell of Switch India where we were briefed on various topics related to cancer in 4 different lectures by their esteemed faculties. A total of 43 volunteers turned up for the visit

The program started at 2:30 pm with Dr. Malliga’s warm welcoming words. In the first lecture, Dr. Swaminathan enlightened us on Cancer Information System, Epidemiology and Biostatistics.

Learning about the current statistics brought quite a lot of Oh’s and Omg’s from the volunteers. Who wouldn’t react that way?

We were introduced to the Concepts of Palliative Care in the 2nd lecture by Dr. R. Thendral where she precisely pointed out the difference between mainstream medicine and palliative care, making us all feel the desire to bring out the humane side in us and not just become someone with knowledge on human body and disease, while treating patients with cancer.

Not to forget the motto that says – “To cure sometimes, to relieve often, to comfort always.”It is a field where we respect patient autonomy. She instilled in us the need to add lives to years and not just years to lives. We were enlightened about their hospice facility as well.

The wonderful ride of lectures continued on with Dr. Malliga enunciating on Preventive Oncology, stating the various burdens faced by different groups of countries, ie, low/middle/high HDI countries .

We were also apprised of the current initiatives undertaken by the government as well as their institute in the field of preventive oncology, say, installation of mammograms in various health centres in small districts and mammo mobile which tours through villages combating breast cancer. They also create awareness and conduct educational camps alongside.

Just as importantly, Dr. Surendran educated us on FCTC, MPOWER, NTCP & COTPA & it’s relevance to Tobacco cessation, focusing more on the legal aspects. It was a time for the reality check on our know-hows apropos of tobacco! We had an eye-opening moment when he familiarized us about the tobacco companies like ITC.

We also learnt about the tobacco monitoring app where we can report any complaint regarding tobacco violation because everyone has a right to breathe clean air. The session ended well, clearing our doubts in regards to the related topics.

Coming out of the auditorium, having learnt a good amount of knowledge on Cancer, we were filled with gratitude and a new zeal of energy.

God forbid anyone hear the three little words: “I’m sorry but…”