PUNE: With rising cases of cancer in Pune rural area the District Health Department of Zilla Parishad (ZP) has decided to provide free cancer screening for people above 30 years of age. It came as an eye opener for the officials of the Health Department of ZP when around 456 persons were suspected to be suffering from cancer after a sample of 50,000 people of Pune rural area were tested for basic cancer symptoms. Following which, the Health Department decided to do a cancer screening for these people.
The initiative was named as ‘RR Patil cancer awareness drive’ as the political leader died due to cancer. Speaking about the initiative Dr Dilip Mane, District Health Officer (DHO) of ZP said that as per his observation oral, breast and uterus cancer are most prevalent among people.
“Cancer is rapidly increasing and the most important step in cancer prevention is early detection. We have prepared a filter and our doctors will reach every household for the basic screening of people above 30 years of age for cancer.
Once the person is tested positive for basic cancer symptoms we will check him for other tests of cancer,” added Mane.
Chairman of works and health department of Pune Zilla Parishad Dr Pravin Mane said ZP will raise part funds through CSR and funds of ZP will also be utilised for the initiative.
Dr Mane said people will save time and cost of travelling to the hospital.
“In the initial screening, we are checking whether a person is consuming tobacco or is coming in contact with cancer-causing agents. Similarly, unusual weight loss and other symptoms like presence of tumours in the body. For women we are looking for bleeding from breast and other symptoms,” Mane said.
The DHO has prepared a list of estimated cost for the whole initiative based on estimated number of persons who might be diagnosed with cancer. Similarly, all the doctors and health professionals associated with the initiative will be given operating manual. As per DHO’s calculation, the Pune rural population stands around 40 lakh and over 1,288 would be diagnosed with cancer. In the initial phase for all the tests including thermal scanning and Ichromax analysis, the Health Department has planned a rough budget of Rs 95 lakh. “Suspected cancer patients will be given health smart cards and we are trying to link them with various cancer treating hospitals in Pune,” added Mane.