Awareness drives mark World Cancer Day

Awareness drives and cultural programmes marked World Cancer Day in the city on Thursday.A human ribbon was formed at Lalbagh Botanical Garden, as part of the awareness drive organised by D S Research Centre. Also, 200 students from L R Cambridge school, Mitralaya Girls’ school and volunteers from Emoticons Theatre Group presented a street play about fighting cancer.

A music programme was organised at Karunashraya, a charitable trust. The day was observed at Mazumdar-Shaw Cancer Centre and Narayana Health City with cancer survivors, patients and their families and the staff. Cancer Support Group was launched on the occasion.

Yamini Mazumdar, mother of Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw and a cancer survivor, unveiled the emblem of Cancer Support Group and termed the day Cancer Fighter Day and not a survivors’ meet.

In a panel discussion that followed, Dr Diwakar Gautham, a clinical psychologist, said around 53 to 55 per cent of cancer patients suffer from mental illness according to a study.

“This is manifested due to fear, anxiety and depression. Suppression of these emotions cause somatic problems that result in mental illness. Cancer management also includes care-giver management,” he explained.

Dr K C Lakshmaiah, Professor and Head, Kidwai Memorial Institute of Oncology, said that due to lack of knowledge people get scared when they hear the word ‘cancer.’

“A large section of the society remains under-diagnosed and only comes to hospitals at an advanced stage. There are regions where cancer patients are still treated as untouchables and deserted by even close relatives. Once detected, people think patients will die soon, but the fact is the quality of life can be improved through proper guidance through doctors and family support,” he added.

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