Now Cancer Screening at Your Doorstep: Indian Cancer Society takes Cancer Screening Mobile Van to Small Enterprises & Remote Areas

September 30, 2018
The Mobile Van Project supported by Columbia Asia Radiology Group aims to provide breast cancer detection facility to the underprivileged women in Delhi NCR thereby helping reduce the number of breast cancer deaths.

New Delhi: Breast Cancer is among the leading causes of cancer-related deaths in India and is emerging as a major public health concern. In 2012, an estimated 144,937 women were diagnosed with breast cancer, while 70,218 died of it, translating in one death for every 2 new detections.

Breast cancer is among the most commonly found types of cancer in women. Early diagnosis and treatment on time are the two most crucial factors on which the life of a cancer victim hinges.

“One of the greatest hurdles in fighting breast cancer in India is the late diagnosis of the problem. Unlike in the West, Indians are yet to fully adopt the culture of preventive health check-ups. However, even as aware and educated women in urban areas open up to the practice of preventive screenings, lack of accessibility remains a huge problem for women of the lower strata. For a household that struggles to make ends meet, the idea of a preventive scan for breast cancer is far-fetched. Through this initiative supported by Columbia Asia Radiology Group, we plan to address this unfortunate public health concern to some extent, by making breast cancer screening tests available in the shortest possible time” says spokesperson, Indian Cancer Society, Dr.S.K. Kochar, Project Director, Asha Kiran Mobile Van

According to World Health Organization, the majority of breast cancer related deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries like India, where most of the women are diagnosed in later stages of the ailment and succumb to the battle against the deadly disease. Lack of awareness, barriers to access of health services and high cost of cancer screening services are the main causes.

A woman of a lower socio-economic status working in a small factory to make ends meet is as likely to suffer from breast cancer as a woman working in a high-profile multinational company. However, the former is much less likely to be able to access breast cancer screening facilities – both due to lack of awareness and affordability.

As healthcare experts advise women in India to adopt annual preventive screening for breast cancer, this initiative by the Indian Cancer Society takes this practice to hundreds of women who would otherwise not have the wherewithal to get themselves examined.

What makes this initiative path-breaking is the fact that the diagnostic screening tests would be conducted in an equipped mobile van right at the workplace or the doorsteps of the homes of women, with extremely quick delivery of results. In fact, the diagnostic reports are provided within a short time by Columbia Asia Radiologists, cutting down the anxiety of waiting.

What makes this quick delivery possible is Columbia Asia’s  tele-radiology services  which enables mammography, X Rays, data and reports to be shared and transmitted virtually, junking the need for hard copies and large scans to be carried physically. Safe, secure and confidential

A mobile van with diagnostic facilities visits multiple locations in the Delhi NCR, focusing on offices, factories, and other clusters of people who cannot take time off to visit a diagnostic centre. The mobile van spends a lot of time targeting workers of numerous Small & Medium Enterprises across NCR, as well as slum dwellers of the capital. Philanthropic individuals and organizations are invited to sponsor camps for underprivileged people. The initiative also helps raise awareness about breast cancer.

Indian Cancer Society regularly undertakes community projects in and around the ‘bastis’ of Delhi and the Mobile Service is an essential part of these Community Projects.

“We are proud to be associated with a campaign that touches a very crucial yet often ignored issue of public health. This initiative aims to bridge the last mile in cancer detection. The Columbia Asia Radiology Group will provide diagnostic screening services to the mobile van. The mammography scans are immediately sent to Columbia Asia Radiology Group for opinions from Women’s Imaging Specialists. This is a huge advantage that tele radiology provides to diagnostic services and through this campaign we intend to provide these benefits to a large number of people. Through this initiative with the Indian Cancer Society, we reach the community and help in early detection and hence aim to reduce the number of deaths due to breast cancer,” says spokesperson, (Dr. Shalini Govil Sr. Radiologist), Columbia Asia Radiology Group

Breast cancer screening across the world has been immensely successful. By detecting trouble at an early stage, the screening process can not only save lives but also prevent the need for mastectomy or the removal of the entire breast.  In women who have breast screening, most cancers are found at an early stage when there is a good chance that treatment will be entirely successful. If detected early, the cancer can be treated by performing breast conserving surgery or a lumpectomy which entails removing the lump or just a part of the breast tissue as against removing the entire breast.

For breast cancer screening, mammography is conducted to examine the breast and detect if there is any unnatural growth.
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