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There were 1000 women attendees from schools, colleges, medical colleges and pharmaceutical backgrounds at the town hall talk

The doctors also distributed around 25000 sanitary napkins in the aim to create awareness on how hygiene and lifestyle can prevent cancers

The doctors spread awareness of vaccines available to prevent cervical cancers

Ahmedabad (Gujarat) [India], March 7:  Marengo CIMS Hospital and K K Patel Hospital at Bhuj joined hands to hold a Town Hall talk to commemorate International Women’s Day with the aim to create increased awareness of cancers in women. The audience comprised 1000 young women from various walks of life and age groups. The age groups were 13 years to 20 years, schoolgoers, college goers, medical students, students studying pharmacy, and physiotherapists. The doctors also distributed 25000 sanitary napkins to educate the audience on how sustained hygiene and lifestyle contribute to defeating diseases that have impacted mortality in the past. The talk show was led by Dr Anagha Zope, Breast Cancer Surgeon, Marengo CIMS Hospital, and Dr Mona Shah, Gynaecology Onco-Surgeon, Marengo CIMS Hospital.

 Breast and cervical cancers are posing a significant disease burden and a growing concern for the nation. Socio-economic factors coupled with lack of screening, low awareness, associated stigma, and taboos remain obstacles to early screening. The talk was an interactive one aimed to spread increased awareness on menstrual hygiene, cervical cancers in women, breast cancers, prevention of cancers, lifestyle conditions that are contributory factors in cancers, vaccines for cervical cancers, early detection, and early treatment for cancers in women.

Dr Anagha Zope, Breast Cancer Surgeon, Marengo CIMS Hospital says, “The talk aimed at addressing the young women population to educate them to adopt healthier lifestyles to reduce their individual risk of getting breast and cervical cancers. We have a diverse society where women have access to information, but most of the information is unauthenticated. This prevents them from taking appropriate decisions. India is at a stage where we are witnessing very high incidences of breast cancer. Our western counterparts have also witnessed high incidences. But what differentiates the western population is while mortality due to breast cancer is reducing in the western population, it is on the rise in the Indian population. It is inadequate to just spread awareness. Most importantly, we need to implement appropriate action to catch the disease early in women, control mortality, and reduce deaths due to this. The event proved to be fruitful and impactful as it provoked the thoughts in the young women audience on hygiene, health, and the social aspect of each of their responsibility as individuals.”

 Dr Mona Shah, Gynaecology Onco-Surgeon, Marengo CIMS Hospital says, “The highly interactive town hall talk yielded a good understanding of cancers in women. But India still has a long way to go in surmounting challenges such as the size of the population, penetration in rural areas to create increased awareness, mindsets to surmount shame and hesitation of going to doctors, and self-examination as an educated exercise. With Oncologists taking up the responsibility of community outreach and educating the more proactive younger population, we are confident of bringing fatalities down.”

 Dr Keyur Parikh, Chairman – Marengo CIMS Hospital says, “The hospital is taking up newer initiatives to spread awareness in a sustained one on various diseases. Cancers in women have been on the rise and through activities like the Town Hall, we are very happy to have reached out to a significant number of women to educate them. Information that is unauthenticated may not have the necessary impact on the minds of the young. However, when you have experts and specialists educating on urgent matters it has become in the current times, the mind is quick to learn.”

According to the Global Cancer Observatory (GLOBOCAN) estimates, there were 19.3 million incident cancer cases worldwide for the year 2020. India ranked third after China and the United States of America. it is further predicted that cancer cases in India would increase to 2.08 million, accounting for a rise of 57.5 percent in 2040 from 2020.  Breast cancer has risen by 13.5 % and cervical cancer by 9.4% in the year 2020. Among all cancers, breast and cervical cancers are in third and fourth positions and the top two cancers in women. It would require meticulous planning, monitoring, and evaluation of cancer control activities to win over cancer in any region.

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