The Telegraph
Thursday , February 21 , 2013
Since 1st March, 1999
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Tertiary hubs for cancer care

Cancer patients would be able to avail of advanced treatment at two government hospitals in the city from the next financial year.

The state health society has decided to upgrade the cancer treatment centres at Patna Medical College and Hospital (PMCH) and Indira Gandhi Medical College and Hospital (IGIMS) into tertiary cancer care centres. An official said funds would be provided to the two health hubs in the next fiscal to purchase hi-tech equipment.

“The funds would be provided under the National Programme for Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular diseases and Stroke to purchase equipment such as linear accelerator and multileaf collimator,” said the official, adding that cancer patients would get advanced treatments at these hospitals.

He added: “At present, both the IGIMS and the PMCH treat cancer patients with radiotherapy, chemotherapy and surgery. Advanced equipment would, of course, help doctors provide better services.”

A linear accelerator is used to externally treat cancer with X-rays. The beam of the accelerator can be so designed as to destroy cancerous tumours while sparing the other tissues. A multileaf collimator is also used to provide advanced radiotherapy.

Sources said this plan was important because the regional cancer care centres at the PMCH and the IGIMS as well as privately owned Mahavir Cancer Sansthan together treat around 35,000 patients annually but according to figures available with the state health society more than 75,000 people are detected with cancer each year.

“Many of these patients go to New Delhi or Mumbai for specialised treatment,” said the official. “Travelling to other states for treatment is not only very expensive but also bothersome. So, we decided to upgrade the regional cancer centres.”

The health society official added: “Initially, we would provide Rs 6 crore to each hospital. We are also planning to open a super-speciality cancer hospital in the state.”