Mumbai: Maharashtra's first integrated centre for cancer to cater exclusively to women was launched on Saturday. The privately-run B. Nanavati Hospital (BNH) and the Bangalore-based Health Care Global Enterprises Ltd (HCG), Asia's largest cancer care network, have joined hands for the 30-bed BNH-HCG Cancer Centre at Vile Parle.

According to Deepak Patkar, consultant radiologist at the centre, every year Mumbai reports 110.4 new cases of cancer in women, that is per 100,000 population (110.4/100,000), according to the Population Based Cancer Registry.

"The numbers of such cases are expected to raise manifold in the next two decades and early diagnosis of cancer leads to better medical outcome and quality of life," Patkar said on the sidelines of the subject. Of the 110.4 cases out of 100,000, breast cancer accounts for the bulk of total incidence, at a stupendous 32.3 cases out of 100,000 new cases every year.

A distant second is cervical (14.1), ovary (7.1), lung, corpus uteri (3.8 each), oral (3.5), bladder, oesophagus (2.9 each), non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (2.8) and stomach (2.7). In view of this data, the BNH-HCG Cancer Centre has set up the cancer centre not only to diagnose but also provide advanced multi-specialty treatment for all types of cancers among women under a single roof, Patkar explained.

Recently, Mumbai had seen celebrities like Manisha Koirala, Lisa Ray and Gautami under treatment for cancer. Hollywood star Angelina Jolie famously opted for a preventive intervention because of a genetic propensity to breast cancer. The centre's Digital Mammogran and Automated Breast Volume, an innovative ultrasound imaging system designed to provide 3-D views of the breast tissue for screening cancer, would prove to be a boon, given the high incidence of cancer among women in Mumbai.

"Breast cancer incidence is on an alarming rise among urban women in their early 40s. But 90 percent of these are curable with optimal therapy if diagnosed early," said Bhavana Parikh, the centre's consultant medical oncologist.

"With advancements in cancer treatment, we are now able to preserve the organs since quality of life is as important as survival," added the centre's consultant surgical oncologist Sanjay Dudhat. Patkar said that the centre would offer all cancer diagnosis, care and treatment facilities with special subsidized rates for women from economically weaker sections, for a wider reach.


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