RML hospital to have its own clinic for breast and cervical cancer screening

Free-of-cost screening in first week.

For screening and early detection of breast and cervical cancer in women, Ram Manohar Lohia Institute of Medical Sciences is going to start a permanent screening clinic from Tuesday.

The clinic, along with a day-long free screening camp for these two ailments, will be inaugurated by state Health Minister Ahmad Hasan.

"This is the first-of-its-kind centre in the state which will provide dedicated screening facilities for both breast and cervical cancer," said Dr M C Pant, director of the institute. The idea behind starting the clinic, said Dr Nuzhat Husain, organising chairperson, dean and head of Pathology department, was that though the occurrence of breast cancer is less in India as compared to the western countries, especially the United States, because of late diagnosis, the mortality because of cancer is much higher in India. Dr Husain also said that unlike the western countries, cases of both these cancers are seen at a much younger age of 30 years and above. Early detection of both the cancers can ensure complete treatment and cure of the ailment, she said.

The screening clinic will provide clinical tests, Pap smear test and molecular Human papillomavirus tests for cervical and mammography facility for breast cancer. The facilities for screening at the clinic will be free of cost for the first week and consequently be charged at subsidised rates. For mobilising the public, especially women, various non-government organisations have joined hands with the institute. The ANMs of Lucknow and nearby areas have also been tagged in for mobilisation activity. After the camp, all the packets of snacks sold out at Akansha kendra (which is supported by IAS officers' wives and sells home made spices and snacks) will contain brochures in Hindi and English regarding information on cancer and cancer screening, she said.

Further, under the 12th Five Year Plan, the Government of India (GoI) is also starting a screening camp for oral, breast and cervical cancer - the three most common cancers in India - in nine earmarked districts of Uttar Pradesh in the year 2013-14. The districts include Rae Bareli, Sultanpur, Jhansi, Lakhinpur Kheri, Farrukhabhad, Firozabad, Etawah, Lalitpur and Jalaun.

The information was given by Dr D C Jain, deputy director general of health services, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, who was the chief guest at the conference held in the institute on screening of breast and cervical cancer on Monday.

"In the 12 th Five Year Plan, the Government of India is stressing on the national programme for prevention and control of cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and stroke," said Dr Jain, adding that though the nine districts of Uttar Pradesh were earmarked amongst several others in the year 2010-2012, because of delay in implementation of the programme, the screening could not be done till now. The guidelines for screening of cancer in earmarked districts have already been sent to the state, according to which the screening can be done at already available health facilities or through special camps. Grassroots level health workers, including ASHA, ANM and Anganwadi workers will all be tagged in the programme for mobilisation, he said. People above the age of 30 years will be the target group for the screening.

Jain also said that the GoI will select 200 more districts for the screening in 2013-14, in which there will be more districts from Uttar Pradesh apart from the selected nine districts. The state signed a memorandum of understanding with the GoI recently for the implementation of the scheme, he said.

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