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Updated: June 7, 2011 10:55 IST

Screening of breast and cervical cancer at government hospital

Olympia Shilpa Gerald
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Patients above 30 years to undergo test for diabetes and hypertension

The Annal Gandhi Memorial Government Hospital, under a state-wide initiative, will soon carry out screening for breast and cervical cancer in all female patients above 30 years. Patients above the age of 30 will undergo screening for diabetes and hypertension, irrespective of gender. Other government hospitals, primary health centres, and corporation hospitals in the district are also to be brought under the initiative meant to accord a thrust to prevention of non-communicable diseases.

To cut down on preventable deaths caused by non-communicable diseases, early detection and intervention would be carried out through health professionals exclusively posted for screening and counselling patients, T.Mohanasundaram, Joint Director of Health Services, told The Hindu. Two nurses have been posted in each of the government hospitals in Tiruchi, Srirangam, Manapparai, Musiri, Manachanallur, Lalgudi, Thottiam, Thuraiyur, Omandur and Thuvarankurichi. Five staff nurses in corporation hospitals and 51 in the 34 Primary Health Centres (PHC) in the district have been placed already. Training in executing initial investigations would be imparted shortly, he added.

The nurses would be trained to collate, process and feed data into the integrated Hospital Management System on the same day. They would be required to counsel patients on lifestyle modification and advise further treatment, if required. Updating of subsequent lab investigations and follow-up treatment would also be done promptly.

Nipping cancer in the bud

Female patients above 30 years would be subjected to clinical breast examination and a VIA/VILA - visual inspection with ascetic acid and/ or Lugol's iodine- for detection of cervical cancer. The cost-effective method is expected to deliver immediate results through change of colour after application on the cervix.

While women who test positive for breast cancer would be referred for mammography, biopsy or other treatment depending on severity of the condition, those who test positive for cervical cancer would be referred for Colposcopy.

The project follows the implementation of twin pilot schemes under the Tamil Nadu Health Systems Project that introduced screening for cardio vascular diseases in Sivagangai and Virudhunagar, and cervical cancer screening in Theni and Thanjavur.

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