( An Awarenes Intiative on Cancers in Women )
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Health of women should be utmost priority in a society. It is important for a healthy progeny. Unfortunately, the issue remains neglected for multiple factors. In patriarchal Indian societies, the problem is many folds higher. The maternal mortality rate is an important health index, remains extremely high even after economic development of the country. Less developed countries have achieved much better.
Equally significant is exponential rise of non communicable diseases (NCDs) in recent years. It is a global phenomenon driven by changes in life styles. Both women and men are equally prone to NCDs like diabetes, heart disease, obesity and respiratory diseases. All these are biologically linked. Obese, diabetic people are at a higher risk of developing cancers. 
Our focus is cancers in women - breast, uterine cervix. While the incidence of breast cancer has risen rapidly, cervical cancer has always been a serious health issue. Early detection and appropriate management of such cancers are only hopes for survival of the patient.
We need to agree that detection of such cancers at a very early stage might lead to unnecessary expensive investigations and inappropriate treatment in many. This is due to unreliable tests and unpredictable behaviour of a malignancy. Some malignant lesions of breast and possibly in cervix remain non-aggressive for a very long period. Nevertheless, gross negligence of a treatable disease allows one to grow to untreatable stage. This causes heavy burden on existing resources - palliative surgery, radiation or chemotherapy and supportive care costs could be huge at both personal and government levels. Awareness programmes would lead to detection at an earlier stage and appropriate management should be the backbone of a long, fruitful, disease free life.
Awareness could be brought about by trained health workers through a dedicated and sustainable programme. In our large country with a massive population, both government and non-government organizations should join hands to draw out effective programmes. There are clinical and/or reasonably affordable tests for early detection of breast and cervical cancers. 
Currently, mammography is going through a sense of identity crisis for valid reasons. We too believe that massive radiological screening procedures are faulty. While eagerly waiting for improved screening techniques, we can improve awareness among women about the real menace of these two common cancers and pave ways for optimum treatment.

DR. ANJANA PHUKAN MEMORIAL FOUNDATION has started “ASMI – A programme on Cancer”. It is a programme dedicated for cancers in women - breast, uterine cervix. This programme is headed by eminent oncologist Dr. TapanSaikia.. Read More  »

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