Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Govt. of India has designated 7th November as National Cancer Awareness Day. The Department of Radiotherapy, in collaboration with Department of Community Medicine, at Regional Cancer Center, PGIMER, Chandigarh organized a cancer awareness & early detection camp at Indira Colony, Maninajra to day. An exhibition cum poster presentation was also organized. The camp and exhibition were inaugurated by Prof Yogesh Chawla, Director PGIMER. While addressing the gathering Dr Chawla mentioned that the burden of cancer in India is increasing & that nearly 8 lakh new cancer cases are diagnosed each year. In PGIMER too nearly 6000 new cancer cases are seen every year. This rise in incidence is mainly due to the changes in our life-style & diet & because the average life expectancy has also increased. He stressed on the need of Tobacco control, as almost 48% of cancers are related to the habit of tobacco smoking & chewing in India. We have the highest incidence of head & neck cancers in the world & cancer of the lung is also not far behind. The three common cancers that occur in India are cancer of the head & neck, cancer of the breast & cancer of the cervix & all these cancers occur in accessible sites & lend themselves for screening & early detection. There is a need for creating cancer awareness in the community and a camp like this is a step in that direction.
Nearly 600 people visited the camp & exhibition & about 300 people were examined by the faculty & residents of the PGIMER. In some people that were examined there was a doubt of Cancer & they were advised to immediately attend the PGIMER for further investigations. Charts were put up to educate the public regarding the early signs of cancer, & the importance of early detection. Short films were also screened to make people aware of the ill effects of tobacco.
Prof S C Sharma, Head Department of Radiotherapy PGIMER said that the camp was organized as an approach to health promotion for the society. The response for the camp from the community was very good & he thanked the health workers of the community for mobilizing & informing the people . He hoped that people would further promote awareness of the risks of common cancers, and understand the importance of early detection