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BD India launches PortShala, medical education programme for healthcare professionals

PortShala aims to aid continuous learning about new and developing science in chemo ports and facilitate a deeper understanding of chemo port usage amongst healthcare workers, cancer caregivers and patients

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BD-India (Becton, Dickinson and Company) launched their specialist educational programme on chemo ports to mark World Cancer Day.

This initiative will focus on upgrading information levels on Implanting, Administration and maintenance of chemo ports amongst all cancer stakeholders and caregivers.

Chemo ports have proven to be a boon for breast cancer patients as patients often have to undergo long periods of chemotherapy, involving multiple sessions. The port stays in place for the chemotherapy treatment duration and eliminates the need to find a suitable vein at each treatment session. Experts believe that the intensive information and knowledge around ports can greatly improve the treatment regime and quality of life for breast cancer patients significantly.

Breast cancer mortality rate currently stands at about 50 per cent and accounts for over 27 per cent of all new cancer cases in Indian women.

Dr  D G Vijay, Senior Breast Cancer Specialist & Director, HCG Cancer Centre, Ahmadabad said, “Screening early diagnosis and cost-effective access to multi-modality treatments are the frontiers in breast cancer care. We must join hands to ensure that we cap the mortality of breast cancer at 20 per cent from the current levels of 50 per cent in India.”

Some chemotherapy medications can only be given through a port as some patients have veins that are very difficult to access. This makes a port a reliable option for the administration of therapy for patients with specific medical needs. Ports have a lower risk of infection over time than IVs or other devices that stick out through the skin. When an I.V is used, medications are more likely to leak (extravagate) into the tissues surrounding patients’ hand or arm. Since many chemotherapy medications are caustic to tissue, a port can reduce the risk of inflammation related to these medications’ leakage.

The quality of life of the patient improves significantly as the port is completely implantable and nothing is visible outside. In addition, the patient can continue with having a normal lifestyle like taking a shower or going for a swim

Dr Harit Chaturvedi – Chairperson, Max Institute of Cancer Care, Delhi emphasised, “Chemo ports have contributed significantly in improving the journey for cancer patients. One prick at every chemo session is a great assurance necessary for a person who has to go through this week after week for a few months.”

Pavan Mocherla, Managing Director-BD-India/South Asia said, “Cancer is a disease that is being tackled continuously at multiple levels in our society. While early detection is the best way to prevent a loss of life from any cancer, patients undergoing chemotherapy also need care to manage complications, side effects etc. Our new initiative, Port Shala has been designed specifically to generate awareness around Cancer and Chemo Ports. It will enable nurses and technicians to enhance their skill and knowledge on care and maintenance of chemo ports for breast and colon cancer patients. By familiarising them with the latest technology in achieving better patient outcomes, our purpose of advancing the world of health becomes even more powerful and we believe healthcare workers can continue to deliver their responsibility to do no harm to those they serve.”

PortShala aims to aid continuous learning about new and developing science in chemo ports and facilitate a deeper understanding of chemo port usage amongst healthcare workers, cancer caregivers and patients.

Based on the principle of 4As namely Awareness, Application, Adoption and Advocacy, PortShala will comprise of hands-on programsme, webinars and virtual experience sharing platforms for the medical fraternity to update on the latest technology and knowledge.

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