Cancer activists’ dream ‘community oncology’ service in Bangladesh
Senior Correspondent, bdnews24.com
Published: 2016-11-18 23:59:08.0 BdST Updated: 2016-11-19 01:07:25.0 BdST
A private initiative, Centre for Cancer Prevention and Research (CCPR), is planning to introduce the ‘community oncology' service in Bangladesh.
The concept, widely popular and effective elsewhere, is to be initiated in greater Mymensingh district of the country.
Dr Md Habibullah Talukder Ruskin, a cancer epidemiologist at the National Institute of Cancer Research and Hospital (NICRH) and coordinator of the CCPR, said, they would initially set up ‘Early Cancer Detection Centre’ in six districts in greater Mymensingh by 2017.
“In community oncology, people don’t need to go to cancer treatment facilities for early detection, rather healthcare workers will go to them in the community,” he said, speaking at a discussion in Dhaka on Friday.
The CCPR with the help of the Greater Mymensingh Shamity also launched a cancer awareness campaign on Friday which would be carried out in 60 Upazilas of the region.
There is no cancer registry system in Bangladesh to assess or confirm the prevalence of the disease. But the NICRH statistics last year indicated that the rate was increasing by the day.
In 2014, the hospital diagnosed over 11,000 cancer patients. The number was about 5,000 in 2005.
Lung cancer topped the list of cancer infecting men followed by breast cancer for women, according to the NICRH report.
Dr Talukder, an associate professor, described the concept of community oncology and his plan to develop the service in greater Mymensingh area in the discussion.
“The main spirit is to take the cancer detection service to the doorsteps. We don’t need big infrastructure. Only two rooms would be enough at the grassroots level where trained paramedics will screen people by taking history. And then they will be referred to the doctor in Mymensingh town.
“An expert team will also be connected from Dhaka through telemedicine who will be able to guide the doctors further for diagnosis and treatment,” he said.
Chairman of Gynae Oncology at BSMMU Prof Sabera Khatun, head of the Department of Histopathology at NICRH Prof Mohammad Golam Mostafa, Cancer Survivor Niloofar Tasnim, Sayeda Anonna Rahman of the WBB Trust, President of Mymensingh Shamity ADM Salahuddin Hymayun, and Health Affairs Secretary of the Greater Mymensingh Shamity Engineer Md Sayem spoke at the discussion, among others.
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