Guwahati, Dec. 31: The B. Borooah Cancer Institute (BBCI) will inaugurate a cancer detection hub at Rani community health centre in Kamrup (metro) district on Saturday.
It has also appealed to all the MLAs of Assam to launch an intensive awareness drive about the disease in their constituencies.
The institute will involve health workers in the running of the detection centre at Rani which is being set up with support from the directorate of health services of the state government.
Kamrup (metro) district has registered the highest number of patients with cancer in prostrate, ovary and gall bladder in the country.
Amal Chandra Kataki, director of the cancer institute, said the aims and objectives of the outreach programme is to lend support to Rani community health centre and six sub-centres under its jurisdiction to improve awareness on cancer, screening of common cancers and educate the people about harmful effects of tobacco on health.
Kataki said awareness and screening programmes would be conducted by specialists from the cancer institute once a month on a fixed date and time. In addition, health workers and primary-care physicians working at different sub-centres, under the community health centre, will be sensitised for mobilising the population at risk in the screening programme.
Kataki appealed to all MLAs to come forward to launch an extensive awareness drive in every Assembly constituency as the cancer institute cannot reach all of them with its limited resources.
"Unlike other government schemes you will not see awareness campaigns for cancer using posters and hoardings. If the MLAs come forward to make posters, leaflets and hoardings to create awareness about cancer and making their respective constituencies tobacco-free, we are ready to offer technical support," he said.
The BBCI will also inaugurate a dual-head gamma camera machine, purchased for Rs 2 crore, in the department of nuclear medicine and molecular imaging on January 5. The machine will detect cancers that cannot be detected by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
Kataki said they have a few plans to improve services. These include construction of a three-storey guesthouse at the cost of Rs 4 crore, quarters for nurses, a Rs 1.5-crore radiation medicine centre, implementation of a comprehensive fire safety scheme and construction of an advanced pathology laboratory.
Kataki said based on crude incidence rate provided by the population-based cancer registries, the total number of cancer patients in Assam by 2026 will rise to 80,919 from 70,887 registered in 2011. Assam has three population-based cancer registries.
"It is observed from the data of the three population-based cancer registries that nine of 10 leading cancer cases among men are tobacco related. Among women, tobacco related and early detectable cancers like breast and cervix form a sizeable group. There have been several studies on tobacco habit pattern and prevalence in Assam," Kataki said. BBCI staff have also decided to donate a percentage of their salaries for free treatment of poor patients and help the people affected by the recent violence in Sonitpur and Kokrajhar districts.