Gurgaon doctor offers free cancer treatment (Lead)

November 13th, 2010 - 8:33 pm ICT by IANS  

Gurgaon, Nov 13 (IANS) Moved by the plight of the poor, a doctor here Saturday set up an NGO to offer free diagnosis and treatment for cancer patients from low income families.

The New India Cancer Charity Initiative (NICCI) is the brainchild of Bhawna Sirohi, head oncologist at the Artemis Health Institute.

“There is such a big lacuna when it comes to awareness about cancer… and it’s not just among the illiterate but also among the educated class,” Sirohi told IANS.

She said cancer awareness would be one of the key aims of her NGO to make early diognosis of the disease possible.

“So many times women come to me in advanced stages of breast cancer simply because they didn’t think that a lump on their breast was a reason enough to see the doctor. Unless there is pain or bleeding, they will keep putting it off,” she said.

According to Sirohi, India has 80,000-100,000 new cases of breast cancer every year. Globally, a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer every three minutes.

“I have been giving lectures to spread awareness on cancer to resident welfare associations. In order to do more, I decided to start this NGO. At the start, we will go to Meerut for awareness campaigns,” she said.

Cancer treatment is expensive, with diagnosis and treatment costing upwards of Rs.5 lakh. Chemotherapy alone costs upwards of Rs.1 lakh.

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