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Punjab govt partners with Max India Foundation to hold the largest Cancer Screening Camp in Punjab

1MaxM.M.Khanna,
INVC, Chandigarh, The country's food bowl- Punjab is suffering from a high incidence of cancer. Government of Punjab has been incessantly working towards the early detection and treatment of Cancer patients in the state.  In the first phase of the Cancer Awareness Program, the government conducted a widespread door-to-door survey, earlier this year, covering around 27 million people across the 22 districts in Punjab. The survey reported approximately 24000 self declared cancer cases and 87000 reported symptoms which could be indicative of cancer. Taking the Battle against Cancer to the second phase, efforts were initiated to take all suspected cases for final diagnosis. As a result, 2200 new cases of cancer have been identified and treatment started. The Punjab government will now be holding a massive Cancer Screening Camp in 22 districts of Punjab on 28th – 29th September, 2013 from 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM. Max IndiaFoundation and MaxHealthcare- leading healthcare services provider in North India, have partnered with the Government of Punjab as Lead Partners for helping set up this largest Cancer Screening Camp in the state. Max Healthcare, through its strong network of 11 hospitals and facilities spread across North India would like to extend its PPP arrangement with the Government of Punjab and help with early detection and awareness regarding cancer in the state. Addressing a press conference at Punjab Bhawan, Sector 3 here today, Ms. Vini Mahajan, Principal Secretary- Health & Family Welfare Department, Government of Punjab said, “We take pride in the immense success of the First Phase of the State Wide Door to Door Cancer Awareness Campaign. Efforts were made in the second phase to take all suspected cases for final diagnosis. As a result, 2200 new cases of cancer have been identified and treatment started. It is time to now wrap up the second phase through his mega camp. Early detection is the most effective tool for prevention and better treatment of cancer. Through this Mega Cancer Screening Camp, we aim to ensure that no patient is left without basic diagnosis, screening or clinical consultation for Cancer. We are happy to associate with Max Healthcare and other partners for this initiative. We believe that this partnership will help us attract the best medical talent comprising of a pool of qualified doctors and nursing staff that would be intrinsic in the cancer screening process.” Dr Ajay Bakshi, Managing Director and CEO, Max Healthcare said, “We, at Max Healthcare, through our hospitals in Mohali and Bathinda which are set up as per the PPP Model, have been constantly working towards early diagnosis and treatment of cancer in the region. Being the leading healthcare service provider in the region, we take upon ourselves the onus to educate people about the perils of different forms of cancer and provide support in detection and treatment to whatever extent we can. This opportunity to help the government of Punjab organize this camp is perfectly aligned with our mission and supports our cause to help spread awareness and promote early detection of this disease. Max Healthcare’s contribution comes in many forms, especially clinical expertise. Max Healthcare is providing 100 senior doctors for this camp. Our senior Oncologists have also developed the clinical flows and training videos for this camp. We are also mobilizing 500 other volunteers to be present at all 22 districts. Besides volunteers, we have partnered with empanelled hospitals, medical colleges and some diagnostics, pharmaceutical and other companies. Our main partners for this event are Core Diagnostics, Strand Genomics, Lumax and Philips. In preparation for the camps, Max Healthcare doctors have conducted a training session of 50 doctors on September 14th. Our pathologists have also trained about 40 pathologists from across Punjab. A briefing session with the nodal officers across Punjab was conducted on September 17th. A team of about 17 people is working internally to ensure that these camps are a success for all those involved.” Ms Mohini Daljeet Singh, Head, Max India Foundation said, “We at Max India Foundation, guided by the Group philosophy of ‘Seva-Bhav’, have been actively working to support Cancer patients and their families by offering palliative care to advanced cancer patients from disadvantaged backgrounds.   We are happy to partner with the Government of Punjab in the noble cause of helping tackle the deadly disease  by extending our support to the largest Cancer Screening Camp in Punjab.  We urge the residents of Punjab to come forward and get themselves screened for Cancer.” The increasing rate of cancer cases is linked to various well-known factors like tobacco consumption, alcohol intake, dietary factors, occupational exposures to heavy metals, dyes and environmental factors like excessive use of pesticides, etc. The survey revealed that Cancer has been significantly affecting the population in the age group of 35-60 years which is the economically active population and the main workforce of the state. The disease burden in this age group is leading to considerable loss in potentially productive years of life. The economic and social cost implications of cancer to the society run into Crores of Rupees that include direct and indirect costs both to the family and to the society, due to expenditure on treatment and reduced productivity. The survey conducted by the Punjab govt revealed that in the Malwa region, which is the most widespread in Punjab comprising of 10 districts, there were 11790 self-reported confirmed Cancer cases. Approximately 397 persons in every 1 lakh of population in the Malwa region complained of symptoms which could be indicative of Cancer. The Majha region which has 3 districts, reported 3700 Cancer cases with 361 persons in every 1 lakh of population complaining of some symptoms. The situation in the Doaba region is equally worrisome. The region comprising of 4 districts has 4451 patients suffering from Cancer, while 292 persons per 1 lakh of population demonstrate symptoms that could indicate Cancer. Considering these alarming statistics, it is imperative that people get themselves screened for Cancer and are aware of the symptoms of this deadly disease.

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