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  • vasanthamemorial@gmail.com
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Trust Detail

23 Years championing the cause of cancer

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Taking care of the treatment of the poor and needy who are cancer affected is the first priority for us at the Trust. The Trust was jointly inaugurated by Shakti a 6 year old who was affected by Acute Lymphoblastic leukemia, a blood cancer and he became the first beneficiary. Twenty more received assistance in the same year and then the trust shifted its base to Coimbatore. Among the first few who were supported at this city was Mr. Balan , a middle aged carpenter who had lymphoma and Ms. P with an ovarian cancer . In the year 2000 both these persons had completed 5 years after completion of treatment and they were boldly stamped cured!

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Introduction

It is estimated that at any point of time 3% that is 3.3 crore Indians have cancer. At centers all over the country, 80-90 % of patients seen with cancer are in advanced stages. Of the remaining 10%, half of them receive adequate treatment. With cure rate of cancers averaging at 40%, effectively only 2% of cancer affected get cured in India.

The fact that early detection leads to higher chance of getting cured is well established and is also well known. But there is a great reluctance to get screened for cancer both in Urban & Rural Settings. Secondly it is presumed that screening done once is adequate.  Much like in other diseases, screening has to be done repeatedly and on a regular basis to pick up cancers early. And those with abnormal findings or with premalignant conditions have to be on a follow up at Cancer centres. Only if these steps are taken , the process is useful.

Unfortunately all these do not happen. Most people come for screening just once! Many of screened people do not come to collect their reports. This we have seen especially at Chennai where women have not bothered to collect their Pap smear reports. Thirdly our experience from the rural camps is that those with frank cancers are unwilling to take treatment even when offered free.

These factors have deterred us from holding screening camps especially in Chennai & Coimbatore Sector. In Mumbai the response is better comparatively. The Pap smear camps have drawn a large number of women and they have actually come & collected their reports.  It has been possible as our health workers are constantly contacting them over phone and in person. Secondly a small gift is being given to the women if they showed up to collect their reports.

By & large most of the screening camps have screened people only once. Even this one time screening has helped in some ways. We are happy that the fears associated with tests like Pap Smear & Mammography has been allayed.  Secondly at most camps very few or none had frank cancers among the screened individuals. This has emboldened the onlookers to enroll themselves for screening. Lastly Camps being goodwill gestures, a lot of organizations pitch in help to organize and / or sponsor these camps.

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Be it a rupee or lakhs of it, if someone spares it for you without spending for himself, is the greatest encouragement you can get for what you do.  The backup that we have received from people across the board has brought us to this level where we stand today. Three active nodes functioning and emancipating the cause of cancer wouldn’t have been possible without the nourishment provided in abundance by generosity of people at large. Given below is an account of modes employed to channelize the benevolence of people’s heart to lives of cancer affected.

beyond-cancer

We have involved ourselves beyond cancer in activities like promoting classical  & devotional music, providing relief during disasters  and conducting summer camps for children..