In Cancer Aid

A cancer education and awareness programme was conducted at Jai Hind College, Mumbai, on October 3, 2018. The event was attended by approximately 500 people. This was a joint initiative of the Rotary Club of Bombay (through the Cancer Aid Committee), Indian Cancer Society (ICS) and Jai Hind College (JHC) along with its young Rotaractors.

The initiative was actively supported by the Board of Trustees of ICS, as well as Jai Hind College Principal Dr. Ashok Wadia and his team. The event was curated and compered by Mr. Vinod Advani. The session was effectively chaired by our very own Rtn. Dr. Ian Pinto, eminent Cancer and Blood Specialist, and Vice Chairman of the Cancer Aid Committee of the Rotary Club of Bombay. The synopsis of his presentation is as follows: Cancer is an abnormal roliferation of our cells after they undergo a mutational change. It is the second-largest cause of death globally. The number of new cases and deaths due to cancer doubled in India from 1990 to 2016. In this time period, the incidence of breast cancer in India increased significantly by 40.7 per cent. Hence, prevention and early diagnosis are of utmost importance.

A significant percentage of cancer is caused by lifestyle factors like diet and tobacco use, both of which causes are
preventable. A healthy lifestyle includes a nutritious diet, daily activity, limited alcohol intake and abstinence from tobacco and tobacco like products (ghutka). Early detection through screening like mammograms for breast cancer starting at age 40-45 years, pap smears starting at the age of 21 for cervical cancer and colonoscopy at 50 years old for colon cancer are some tests for individuals with standard risk.

Treatment for cancer has also greatly improved from older chemotherapy to newer targeted treatments that attack
specific molecular targets in cancer cells. Immunotherapy to stimulate one’s own immunity to attack cancer cells is available and has revolutionised treatment for cancer. In summary, cancer is preventable and curable if found early, and treatable if found late. There were many interesting questions that arose at this session like: What is the role of stress in cancer? What are the outcomes for patients undergoing cancer treatment? What are the methods to quit tobacco use? What is the risk of one getting cancer if a family member has been diagnosed with the same? What is the role of immunotherapy in treatment of cancer? Some of the takeaways by the audience – a) quit smoking and all forms of tobacco including ghutka, b) reach out to doctors early with any problem, c) follow and share information on cancer screening with family and d) keep tabs with what tests need to be routinely done to prevent cancer.

As a follow up to this awareness program, RCB (Rotary Club Of Bombay) plans to kickstart a series of 10 breast cancer detection camps with provisions to screen a hundred women at each. For this, Rotary Club of Bombay has tied up with ICS (Indian Cancer Society) for camps to be conducted at Shree Mahila Griha Udyog.

Compere, Dr Punjabi, Suresh Goklaney, Dr Ian Pinto, Indrani Malkani, Principal of Jai Hind College Dr Ashok Wadia, Vijay Kumar Jatia and Rtn. Mudit Jatia and others at Jai Hind college

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