The Department of Pharmacology, Amrita School of Pharmacy and the Department of Medical Oncology, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, in association with the Canserve Society, organized a Cancer Awareness Programme, ‘Athijeevanam”, on February 10, 2018. Sri. Mohammed Yasin, IPS, Director General of Police (Crimes), inaugurated the cancer awareness campaign at the function held at Amrita School of Pharmacy, Kochi. Addressing the gathering, Sri. Mohammed Yasin IPS said that it is the responsibility of society to raise awareness so that maladies like cancer can be eradicated. "Every step taken in the direction of raising awareness against cancer will lead to a major change in society", he added.

He said that the cancer incidence rate among people of Kerala has grown 300 fold during the last 10 years. He reminded that it has become a norm in the west to undergo routine screening tests for cancer, which has increased the survival rate and suggested that the same practice should be adopted in our country as well.

Ms. Kala Joymon of Canserve, a cancer survivor who shared her experiences at the event said that timely diagnosis and proper treatment, as well as the support of family, has helped her recover and return to normal life fast.

Dr. Shantikumar V. Nair, Dean of Research, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, presided over the function. Sri. T. J. Vinod, Deputy Mayor, Corporation of Cochin, Sri. Chandran Pillai, Ex- MP and Smt. Kukku Parameswaran, cine artist were also present in the function.

Dr. Wesley M. Jose, Department of Medical Oncology, and Dr. Anupama R, Department of Gynecological Oncology of Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, explained about the various common types of cancers. They also explained the importance of early detection and the advancement in technology like the robotic surgery and how they help in treating cancer very effectively. The prizes for the quiz as well as collage competitions held for students as part of the cancer awareness programme were also distributed by the distinguished guests.

The students presented a pageantry flash mob and released 400 balloons as a mark of support to cancer patients. Dr. Sabitha M., Principal, Amrita School of Pharmacy, and Dr. P. Umadevi, Head of the Department of Pharmacology, led the students' pageantry and planted saplings to commemorate the event.

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