Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) will run screening programmes for oral, breast and cervical cancers once a year in each of its sixteen boroughs.
The Indian Medical Association and Medica Superspecialty Hospital will provide doctors who will do the screening while the civic body will open some of the health clinics for the screening.
Medica will also conduct some diagnostic tests for free if doctors recommend them to patients screened at the KMC clinics.
The decision was announced at a programme in the city on Tuesday on the occasion of the World No Tobacco Day on Tuesday.
“We will begin the screening from July 1. Mostly very poor people visit our ward health clinics. The screening will be beneficial for them,” said mayor Firhad Hakim.
Sourav Datta, director of oncology at Medica, said that doctors would look for suspicious lesions in the oral cavity to detect possible oral cancer cases, conduct clinical exams to detect any lump in breasts for suspected cases of breast cancer and take history of a patient and do some clinical exams to detect any suspected case of cervical cancer.
“Medica would conduct the pap smear test, biopsy and mammogram for free if any of the patients screened in these screening camps are asked to do the tests,” he said.
A pap smear test helps detect cervical cancer in women. A mammogram is an X-ray of the breast and it is a good way to identify and treat breast cancer before symptoms appear.
Surgical oncologist Gautam Mukhopadhyay said: “Cervical, breast and oral cancers are preventable if they can be detected early. But the KMC should see that the screenings continue for years to have an impact.”