Cervical cancer cases account for nearly 40 per cent of the patients treated at the Regional Cancer Centre at the Coimbatore Medical College Hospital.
The Rs. 15 crore-centre, which became operational in September 2013, has around 70 patients at any point of time. According to A. Suresh Venkatachalam, Head, Department of Surgical Oncology, all women above 30 years must undergo Papanicolaou Smear (Pap Smear), the screening procedure for cervical cancer, at least once every year. This test was performed in most government hospitals.
Cervical cancer is among the five cancers for which early detection was vital. The others are cancers in the breast, colon, prostate and oral cavity.
After cervical cancer, the cancer centre saw a large number of oral cavity cancer, gastro-intestinal cancer, and lung cancer. It treated at least 40 esophageal cancers every year.
“This year’s theme of the World Cancer Day, set by World Health Organisation is ‘Not Beyond Us’ with reference to awareness, treatment and prevention,” he said. The people must realise that none were immune to cancer. Dr. Suresh Venkatachalam said that the centre had all the state-of-the-art facilities for treating cancer patients. It was a pioneer in performing breast reconstruction surgery. The centre will commission next week the Cobalt Radio Therapy, which will mainly benefit patients with cancer in the head and neck, and those having cervical cancer. Till now, these patients were referred to government hospitals in Salem, Kancheepuram, or Chennai.
The centre will get a Rs. 15 crore-linear accelerator last year. The sophisticated machine is used for radiotherapy using deep X-rays for cancer patients. It will help concentrate the radiation, providing for precise treatment, he added. Construction of an exclusive building for the centre is expected to be completed by the year end, he added.