Kochi: Anuradha, a bubbly, creative writer-journalist with a very liberal outlook, took breast cancer head-on, after she was diagnosed with the killer-disease in 1998.
In July this year, she accepted defeat and disappeared into time-wrap. But during the 16 years of her fight against the disease, Anuradha helped the medical fraternity in spreading awareness among women as also to overcome the psychological trauma of cancer affected.
Breast cancer is developing into epidemic proportions in India, and it is now the leading cause of cancer death in Indian women. Roughly 1.5 lakh new cases are being diagnosed every year and close to 70,000 women die of breast cancer, according to Globocan (WHO) Data 2012.
To raise general awareness about breast cancer, the Kochi-based Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences (AIMS) recently organised a national seminar on 'Practical issues in the management of breast cancer'.
The seminar, inaugurated by Dr. Santosh John Abraham, President of the Association of Surgeons of India, was attended by leading oncologists from across the state and some international experts.
"Public awareness, community screening for early detection are essential interventions to save a lot of lives before the disease takes epidemic proportions," said Dr. Prem Nair, Medical Director of Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences.
"The preliminary data from our own screening programme has been very encouraging," he added.
On its part, AIMS had announced free breast screening mammogram for 100 women above the age of 50. The institute has a unique breast cancer screening clinic, for early detection and treatment. Since its inception early 2014, the Clinic has screened more than 1,000 women.
"AIMS has an advanced facility to screen breast cancer - Sentinel Lymph node Biopsy, a procedure based on newer molecular classification based on Immunohistochemical markers," said Dr. K. Pavithran, head of Medical Oncology department.
"The day-care chemotherapy unit has two state-of-the-art Laminar flow systems to ensure safe mixing and dilution of chemotherapy drugs and 36 reclining chemotherapy delivery chairs to ensure comfort to the patient," Dr.Pavithran added.
The surgical oncology team at AIMS is also studying newer techniques to reduce Lymphedema, which is a common morbidity factor for Breast Cancer Surgery, said Dr. Pavithran.