Monday, 9 June 2014

Support Groups

The Indian Cancer Society, Delhi

The Conquest of Cancer by Choice; not Chance

The Indian Cancer Society was founded in Mumbai in 1951 by the renowned oncologist Dr. DJ Jussawala, with the stated objective of providing cancer awareness and education, as well as offering high quality-low cost cancer screening facilities.  Dr. Jussawala saw even in those early years that prevention through awareness and understanding was the only way to fight the scourge of cancer.

The Delhi Branch was set up in 1983 by a group of enlightened citizens, led by Mr. KK Mehta, who continues to guide the activities of ICS Delhi. These include:
  • Cancer Jagriti. Our Awareness group of trained volunteers deliver cancer awareness talks at a wide variety of locations, ranging from schools and colleges, offices and factories, women’s’ groups, urban slums, villages, and with other socially committed organizations such as Deepalaya, the Mobile Crèches, Lions and Rotary Clubs, etc. Speakers carry instructive video films, as well as information literature, which is given free of cost. This service is available completely free of cost, though a pick-up for speakers is much appreciated. The Schools programme carries cancer education to a receptive audience. A recent initiative of using FM channels carries our message further afield.
  • Cancer Screening.  ICS offers Cancer Screening at the Cancer Detection Centre, 42 Babar Road, New Delhi 110 001. The Centre is open on all working days from 0900 to 1200 hours. The Centre is served by 3 specialist doctors of ENT, Gynecology and Surgery, supported by a team of technicians. In a package, which includes a blood analysis, chest Xray, and physical examination by these experienced doctors, you can avail a screening for cancer at minimal, heavily subsidized cost. No prior appointment required, and the entire process takes only 35 minutes of your time. In order to detect cancer early, and even at a pre-cancer stage, ICS urges that every person over the age of 30 years should have an annual check-up.
  • Mobile Cancer Screening. Cancer Screening at your doorstep! This service is ideal for offices, factories, and other clusters of people who cannot take time off to come to the Babar Road Centre. 40 persons are screened in a 3-hour period by our specialist staff. This service is available on weekends, and on weekday afternoons. Bookings can be made through our office, and a payment is required to be made in advance to confirm the booking. Philanthropic individuals and organizations often sponsor camps for people living in the slums of Delhi. Please check with us about the availability of free camps. The Mobile Service is an essential part of the Community Projects, which ICS undertakes in the basti’s (slums) around Delhi.
  • Projects. ICS undertakes Community Screening Projects supported by Corporate houses as part of their CSR Projects. Over 2160 women from disadvantaged areas were screened for Cervical Cancer in 2007-08. In addition, Awareness Talks and intensive training for chosen leaders among local women as Basti Sevika’s are organized, with the doctors from IRCH/AIIMS. A series of talks and screening Camps were organized for the migrant labour camps under Project GAIL in 2008. A unique initiative under this Project saw a translation into Urdu of our main Awareness booklet “100 Questions about Cancer”.
  • Cancer Sahyog: Since 1991, this Support group for people living with cancer has been working under the umbrella of ICS Delhi. Founded by a cancer survivor, all members of Cancer Sahyog have a personal experience with cancer. Besides offering a listening ear and a shared experience, volunteers provide literature, helpful suggestions and tips regarding the side effects of treatment. Most of all, volunteers in hospitals, all of whom are survivors, offer hope. Cancer Sahyog offers a measure of financial assistance to deserving cases. Sahyog’s annual seminar addresses issues of importance to cancer survivors. The Walk for Cancer is a popular fixture on the calendar, as is Survivors Day.
  • Breast Cancer Care. This group of Breast Cancer Survivors has joined the ICS family. They provide badly needed advice on prosthesis and under garments; as well as living life under altered circumstances. They also join Volunteers from Jagriti & Sahyog in spreading awareness about Breast Cancer.
  • Prashanti is the newest addition to the family. Working under the aegis of ICS, this is a Centre for Healing therapies. Patients and Survivors are encouraged to explore the various therapies on offer, and use the one of their choice to better their quality of life.
  • CanKids. Children with cancer are one of Mother Nature's more deplorable jokes. They throng Delhi Hospitals in large numbers. While the causes of child cancers are largely unexplained, we know they are often more curable than adult cancers. The rider is - Early Detection. With early detection and timely treatment, most of these youngsters can look forward to long and healthy lives.
    Since 2003, CanKids, a part of the Indian Cancer Society, looks after the interests of child patients. Apart from sponsoring treatment costs, it seeks to bring a little sunshine to the lives of these young people with gifts of clothes and toys, outings to fun places, and similar activity. It works in conjunction with Cancer Sahyog, itself the Emotional Support Group of the Indian Cancer Society. CanKids, seeks to provide assistance with educational needs, occupational therapy during treatment, etc. The CanKids Home away from Home for children and their parents has become a reality in 2008.
  • ICS Newsletter “Nargis” offers information and has a small but loyal readership of 3000 persons. Nargis covers the activity of all ICS units, and gives useful information about cancer. It is distributed free of cost in Hospital clinics.
  • Pressure Group. ICS works with tobacco regulation lobbies working to stem the easy availability of tobacco, especially to vulnerable youth. ICS has made presentations to the Parliamentary Sub Committee on Tobacco Regulation, putting forward its views on the tobacco-cancer connection. The newly passed Bill reflects ICS inputs. ICS successfully lobbied the Defence Forces to include cancer screening as part of the Annual Medical examination of all service personnel. The programme is being offered to Corporate Houses as well. Most recently, we have been lobbying the Government for protection for new generation cancer drugs, whose prices are sky-high due to the new WTO requirements. ICS has worked to get warning signs put onto bidi & gutka packets. Special programmes during the year highlight different cancers – Tobacco/Oral cancers (May), Breast (October), Cervix(November).
  • Cancer Insurance. Recognizing the fact that cancer treatment is long and expensive, ICS was the first to offer Cancer Insurance in collaboration with New India Assurance Company. Presently, there are two slabs of cover available. Details can be obtained from our office. At a time when one in eight Indians is likely to get cancer, insurance to offset the high cost of treatment has become a necessity. 

There is compelling evidence available to suggest that a majority of cancers are related to life style choices. In India where over half the cancers are in the head and neck region, it is important for people to recognise the connection between tobacco (including chewed tobacco such as gutka, khaini, paan masala) and cancer. Most cancers of the mouth, throat and lung are avoidable. The importance of diet in cancers is increasingly evident. Diet is implicated in cancers such as those of the breast, stomach, gall bladder, colon and rectum, which are rising as life styles include richer diets, and people become more sedentary in their habits. Breast cancer, often referred to as the “empowered woman’s cancer”, is overtaking cervical cancer as the number one cancer in women in urban areas. Most cancers are curable if detected early. Many cancers are avoidable with an awareness of the way life styles help create these monsters.

The Delhi Branch of the ICS is proud to be part of the worldwide effort to combat cancer by striking it before it takes root. We need your commitment, in time and money, for this valuable cause.

We hope that all of you will carry the message of cancer prevention through awareness and regular annual screening, to your circle of friends and loved ones.

Contact details: 
Indian Cancer Society, Delhi,
Q5A Jangpura Extension, New Delhi 110 014

Tel: +91 11 24319572(O),  098 118 27549 (M)

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