Medica Superspecialty Hospital continues to bring together voices to close the care gap
Mumbai / Kolkata, February 2023: World Cancer Day 2023 marks the second year of the three-year ‘Close the Care Gap’ campaign, which focuses on equity. This year’s efforts will centre on establishing new alliances and bringing together the voices of like-minded individuals to make a powerful appeal. The Oncology Department of Medica Superspecialty Hospital held a Panel Discussion on World Cancer Day, attended by several specialty oncologists from Medica including Dr. Sourav Datta, Director of Medica Cancer Projects, and Dr. Subir Ganguly – Sr Consultant & Advisor Medica Oncology. In addition to the medical experts, Mr. Sajal Mitra a representative of Fight Cancer NGO; Mr. Nilendu Saha, from Kudiram Pathagar Beharampur NGO, Mr. R. Udayan Lahiry, Co-founder & Managing Director, of Medica Hospitals Pvt Ltd, and Mr. Ayanabh DebGupta, Co-founder & Jt. Managing Director, Medica Hospitals Pvt Ltd was also present along with the real-life Heroes who have fought cancer and their families who had emerged victorious over all challenges, defied all obstacles, including societal pressures and economic adversities, and still have not called it quits, were also part of the panel discussion.
While Medica, the fastest growing healthcare group in Eastern India is geared to set up a world-class cancer treatment facility in Kolkata, as a responsible service provider, it also feels that just having cutting-edge technologies will not give a 360-degree caregiving approach. Even though we live in an era of incredible cancer prevention, diagnosis, and treatment advances, many people continue to be denied basic cancer care. Hence, every caregiver must constantly strive to close this gap by making viable efforts. Income, education, geographic location, age, disability, and lifestyle discrimination are a few factors that may have an adverse effect on care.
Welcoming the gathering on World Cancer Day, Mr. R. Udayan Lahiry, Co-founder & Managing Director, of Medica Hospitals Pvt Ltd, said, “We at Medica Group of Hospitals are delighted to have you all as part of today’s awareness programme. World Cancer Day has been observed as a global healthcare event for the past 23 years, with the goal of raising awareness and educating people about cancer detection, treatment, and prevention. Cancer indeed is a deadly disease & we at Medica Hospital are committed to raising awareness about the importance of early detection and avoiding common lifestyle choices that increase the risk of developing cancer. To restore the hope & trust within us & within every individual battling cancer, we have our real-life heroes who have fought cancer & emerged victorious over all challenges & still have not lost hope. Apart from them, we have Cancer specialists & representatives from NGOs who witness cancer patients in their families day & night to share their knowledge on every facet of the challenging fight against cancer. Let us all join in together & fight cancer.” While echoing the thoughts of Mr. Lahiry, Mr. Ayanabh DebGupta, Co-founder & Jt. Managing Director, Medica Hospitals Pvt Ltd, said, “As we enter the second year of the ‘close the care gap’ campaign, we continue to unite our voices and act because we know that we are stronger when we work together. Since cancer treatment requires a more humane approach, a holistic attempt to address their mental concerns, empower them to return to the mainstream, and assist them in rebuilding their lives is pivotal. As a healthcare organisation, we intend to recognise the issue, close the care gap, and make India and the world cancer-free.”
The panel discussion and interactive session took the viewers through clinically oriented topics ranging from advanced cancer management and detection; recent advances in cancer patient and caregiver support; and other specialized treatment infrastructure at Medica Hospitals.
Addressing this year’s world cancer day theme, Dr. Sourav Datta, Director of Medica Cancer Projects, said, “As a doctor, I believe that cancer can be treated at a much lower cost if detected early on, than later in its progression. People who seek screening at the first sign of symptoms have a much lower mortality rate. Cancer, which was once incurable, can now be easily cured due to technological advancement. As doctors, we have cured numerous cancer patients who are now living happy and healthy lives free of complications. Let us all band together to fight cancer while also raising public awareness about the disease & its treatment”
Talking about the management of cancer & the way forward, the speaker and the moderator of the event, Dr. Subir Ganguly, Sr Consultant & Advisor Medica Oncology, averred, “In India, there are reportedly 2.25 million cancer patients, 1 million new cases annually, and over 0.88 million annual deaths. There are numerous reasons for this increase in cancer patients, including increased life expectancy, unhealthy lifestyles, urbanization, and the resulting increase in pollution. Cancer treatment outcomes in India lag as compared to developed countries, and the main reasons for this are a lack of awareness, a delay in diagnosis, illiteracy, economic constraints, and a lack of access to treatment. Cancer patients frequently do not seek treatment at the outset due to a lack of understanding about the disease. A lack of education and poverty also influences coming to the hospital late. As a result, even today, many people have misconceptions that it is an incurable disease. To dispel this myth, it is essential to educate more people, particularly in rural areas, that cancer patients can be cured if detected at an early stage.” He also added, “The majority of cancer hospitals are in or near cities, leaving rural areas without access to modern cancer treatment. However, we are extremely proud to have highly skilled expert surgeons at Medica who use the cutting-edge 4th generation Da Vinci X Robotic Surgical System to treat benign and oncological conditions. We are proud of the fact that Medica became the first hospital in eastern India to perform 100 robotic surgeries in less than a year.”
During the panel, the representatives from the NGOs who spoke on their behalf shared information, resources & their experiences with the audience; alongside, Cancer survivors and caregivers addressed their personal experiences, focusing on various strategies that helped them remain positive despite the already stressful and difficult encounters of accepting cancer treatment and caring for cancer patients.
At the end of the conference, the survivors, caregivers & NGOs present at the event were felicitated by Medica for fighting cancer & emerging victorious over all challenges & still not losing hope.