The Government Rajaji Hospital (GRH) here has initiated steps to set up a Regional Cancer Centre, which was announced by Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on January 11, which will cater to patients in the southern districts.

This facility is coming up on the Balarangapuram Government Hospital premises. The state government has sanctioned Rs.3 crore for construction of buildings. While the existing buildings would be refurbished as per requirements, the construction works for new buildings would be taken up soon by the Public Works Department.

N. Mohan, GRH Dean, told The Hindu on Thursday that the “administrative sanction” for utilising Rs.3.02 crore was given by the Health Department towards buildings and a separate fund was also allotted for procuring equipment needed for surgical oncology, radiation oncology and medical oncology.

It was announced last week that approximately Rs.15 crore has been allocated to establish the Regional Cancer Centre in Madurai. Additional buildings have to be constructed at Balarangapuram for chemotherapy facility for cancer patients, the Dean said.

Dr.Mohan said that the state government is also giving Rs.10 crore to buy equipment for cancer treatment in three branches of oncology — surgical, medical and radiation. Meanwhile, S. S. Sundaram, Head of Department of Surgical Oncology, GRH, has said that the volume of cancer patients was more in southern districts and the Regional Cancer Centre would be of great help to patients.

Oral cancer, lung cancer, stomach cancer, breast cancer and cancer of the cervix were being detected among men and women and early detection was important, he added.

Specialists in the radiation oncology wing said that high-end machines were being purchased for the new centre because radiation therapy was most important during treatment.

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