Awareness, early detection key for cancer treatment: MD MGCHRI

Report by: 
ROOPA LALL
Port Blair
23 Mar 2018

The Andhra Association conducted a press meet on Pre-Medical Awareness Camp  related to cancer in the association Premises today.  Dr. Muralikrishna Voonna, Cancer Surgeon, Surgical Oncologist and Managing Director of Mahatma Gandhi Cancer Hospital & Research Institute (MGCHRI), Vishakhapatnam stated that many patients from A&N Islands coming to their hospital for treatment, therefore when Andhra Association invited us to conduct an awareness camp, we readily agreed. “Cancer treatment is very important because cancer is second leading cause of death all over the world, first being the heart disease. Awareness is paramount as it is preventable and can be cured if it is detected early. What are the early symptoms of the cancer to consult a doctor? Myths abound about cancer, like cancer is not curable, is contagious, has side effects, its treatment  is very expensive, but they not true.”
Two to three decades back there were no good medicines, doctors or hospitals treating it were rare, and most cancer patients succumbed to the disease. But now it is not the case. Breast cancer, If detected early in stage -1 95% patients, in  stage -2  85% , in stage 3 60% get cure also and stage -4 to 5 15% patients get cured to lead normal lives. Government spends more money on tobacco business for generating employment and revenue. The same government will save more than a lakh crore rupees per year on treatment of Tobacco related diseases. Lobbies of the tobacco industry ensure through their sales that 50% of cancers are directly or indirectly related to Tobacco only. Alcohol too is a reason for cancer.
Obesity, sedentary life style bereft of exercise, no maintaining body weight and eating a imbalanced diet with more fats, less intake of Vitamins, Fibre-less diet, red meat, processed food, western lifestyle can cause cancer. Breast cancer is increasing in India because of fast foods and surprisingly there are some infections which can cause of cancer like Hepatitis B virus infections, which cause liver cancer. The most common cancer affecting women in India is Cervical Cancer causing death through Human papilloma virus. Vaccines can prevent cancer. All children should get Hepatitis vaccine. Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine is available commercially but government is not bringing it to common people as it is expensive, each dose costing Rs. 1800 to 2200. Two or three injections can completely protect the unmarried girls from infection. Less that 5% of cancer is due to genetic causes, less than 1 to 2% in India.
“Alcohol can be avoided, smoking can be avoided, regular exercise and weight reduction, healthy life style and body can ward off cancer. 5% cancer is because of the passive smoking”. He said that they have 15 Oncologists who with the help of government to provide facility so that some doctors will visit every month or fortnightly to the islands. With the government’s help they can provide room and stay at Vizag at nominal costs. They are a CGHS empaneled and a meeting with DHS, a screening centre with nominal fees for the patients can be established.