Cancer screening programme begins in Punjab


Chandigarh: The Punjab government today said that it has started a special screening in 22 districts of the state to diagnose breast, cervix and mouth cancer.
This campaign is being implemented in 192 sub-divisional hospitals and community health centres of the, Health and Family Welfare minister Brahm Mohindra said in a release.
The state government has initiated “free annual preventive health checkup programme” to diagnose diseases such as cancer, hypertension and diabetes.
He said the government has taken cognisance that there is an urgent need to launch a massive cancer awareness campaign in order to make people conscious about the disease.
“In fact, only right information at right time will save the patients who are unaware about the symptoms of cancer. There is a long list of celebrities and others who fought back this deadly disease and are leading a normal life thereafter,” he said.
The state health department has imparted special training to MOs (Medical Officers), staff nurses and ANMs ( Auxiliary Nurse mid wife) to conduct tests under the screening campaign especially in rural areas of the state.
As many as 2,886 ANMs and 155 nursing sisters have been trained for this purpose, Mohindra said.
He said breast and cervix cancer are common among women and under the screening programme, 20,487 women took the cervix cancer test.
Out of the 460 patients suspected to have cancer, 384 women were referred for further investigation.
As many as 29,636 women were screened for breast cancer and out of the 683 women detected with suspected cancer, 579 were referred for further tests, the minister said.
“We still necessitate more and more screening and awareness programme to cover up the total population of the state and we all know early detection of cancer is a single life line,” he added.
“I don’t know any specific reason why the previous governments had not taken up any serious action to initiate screening and awareness programme even though cancer has extremely impacted the all districts of state,” Mohindra said.
He said cancer patients belonging to Below Poverty Line (BPL) families in the state have been given financial assistances upto Rs 1.50 lakh under the ‘Mukhya Mantri Cancer Rahat Kosh’.