Cancer Awareness Campaign, Karnal, Haryana

Cancer incidence is alarmingly increasing at a rapid pace in the world and more so in developing countries like India.  By conservative estimates, the burden will double  in next two decades. Unfortunately, the awareness amongst people is not as much as required. More awareness amongst public will lead to prevention, early diagnosis, better treatment, cure rates and less human loss and suffering. Working towards this goal, in a small manner, Oncology team of Max Institute of Cancer Care, part of Max superspeciality Hospital, Shalimar Bagh has been involved in the awareness campaign amongst public as well as doctors for a long time. Over last few years this team has  successfully conducted many (over 100) CME sessions for doctors,  awareness lectures and  camps for the public at various places in and around Delhi NCR, neighbouring cities, eastern Nagaland, Nepal, Nigeria and Kenya. In Karnal, Haryana with the efforts  of  Bharat Vikas Parishad (BVP), Karnal  a local social NGO and late Mr Pawan Gupta, a local eminent person, we had many such camps and lectures.

On 13th November 2016, a cancer awareness camp  was organised in memory of late Mr Pawan Gupta, who initiated and continued such programs with a lot of enthusiasm, vigour and commitment. The camp was inaugurated by Smt Renu Bala Gupta in presence of Mrs Poonam Gupta and office bearers of BVP. Mrs Renu Gupta emphasised the need of such awareness camps and lauded the efforts of Max Hospital, Shalimar Bagh and complimented BVP for taking the initiative. Contributions of Late Mr Pawan Gupta were recalled and appreciated and everyone was of the view that such camps should be held more frequently.

A 22 member strong team including Dr R Ranga Rao, Dr Rudra Acharya, Dr Vivek Gupta, Dr Peush Bajpai, Dr Archit Pandit, Dr Amita Mishra, Dr Waseem Abbas, oncology nurses, coordinators, Dr Ruchika Khetrapal,   from Max Institute of cancer care participated in this activity.  In the camp, there was a talk and panel discussion followed by  question & answer session,  OPD for cancer patients, and cancer check-up for women and men. Mammography and pap smear was taken for ladies in a selective manner. Over 200 patients including both male and female were screened for cancer in the camp. The female patients were sent for free mammograms and pap smear. Around 70 pap smear and 25 mammogram were done. Around 50 patients were given consultation in the OPD where they were advised about further treatment plan if required.

The awareness talk public health talk was organized to increase the awareness among the common man about the early signs and symptoms of cancer, cancer burden, rising incidence of cancer in India. The oncologists discussed about the ways in which cancer can be prevented. It was an interactive session and a lot of questions were asked by the audience which were promptly answered by the oncologists. The talk was attended by more than 250 people and it was hugely appreciated by the audience.

The attendees were also encouraged to complete cancer awareness questionnaire which was specifically designed for the camp. The aim of the questionnaire was to help people increase their awareness about cancer.

Going by the enthusiasm and participation of the local population the camp was a big success. A press conference was held at Karnal and the event was covered very well in most of the local newspapers.

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