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Tata Memorial Hospital opens three new pediatric cancer units

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The centres in Varanasi, Guwahati and Vishakhapatnam is being offered by Tata’s ImPaCCT Foundation

Tata Memorial Hospital has opened three childhood cancer centres in Homi Bhabha Cancer Hospital in Varanasi and Vishakhapatnam and B Borooah Cancer Institute in Guwahati. The distributed cancer control model will seek to take cancer care closest to where the patients are and to make treatment accessible and affordable.

Dr Shripad Banavali, Director Academics, Tata Memorial Centre says, “Paediatric cancer is highly curable when treated appropriately by not just a medical multi-disciplinary team, but by also providing all necessary support for families to undergo the treatment journey. This includes financial, nutrition, accommodation, transfusion and other support. Setting up more centres across India, which provide such holistic care is the need of the hour in the country to tackle the burden of paediatric cancers”.

Dr Girish Chinnaswamy, Head, Paediatric Oncology, adds, “Although there are good treatment options available for children with cancer in India, the majority of these treatments are in tertiary centres located in major cities. Hence, in the new hospitals which are being established, we anticipate that a large number of children with cancer will be able to access care which will significantly improve the outcomes of these children with cancer in these areas. The three cancer centres which are established are standalone comprehensive cancer centres providing all modalities of cancer care under one roof. Another one will soon open in Mullanpur, Punjab.”

Speaking about the holistic support that will be provided at all the new centres including financial help, support with accommodation and other domestic needs, Shalini Jatia, Secretary, ImPaCCT Foundation, Division of Pediatric Oncology said, “The model at TMH, led by ImPaCCT Foundation, has been very successful over the last many years, in providing holistic care and other support to children and their families in Mumbai. This has not only improved the cure rate of childhood cancer to over 70 per cent, but also significantly decreased the refusal and abandonment of treatment by families. This has also been possible by establishing of partnership with our stakeholders — both government and non-government agencies, who are committed to the cause. Such a tried and tested model should be replicated by regional centres across the country so that the majority of the children diagnosed with childhood cancers are able to complete treatment successfully with minimal disruption to the rest of the family.”

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