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CanServe – a cancer support group initiative of the Department of Oncology at the Amrita School of Medicine was inaugurated by Sri P. Rajiv, MP, on the occasion of World Cancer Day on February 4. To be managed by cancer survivors and a dedicated group of volunteers, CanServe will support cancer patients in their fight against the disease.
Dr. Vijaykumar, Professor and Head of the Department of Surgical Oncology elaborated on the importance of a support group for cancer care.
“A newly-diagnosed cancer patient has the fear of death, disfigurement or just fear of the unknown. Many patients seek treatment late due to some of these fears. Some may want alternative remedies. Maybe they have heard of people dying from cancer or having many problems associated with the treatment itself. They may not have seen people who have been cured or who have had successful treatments.”
“We felt that if more people come forth to declare that they have been successfully treated, newly-diagnosed patients will become less fearful. Through CanServe, we hope to increase awareness and motivate patients to seek early treatment.”
“There are studies that show that an overall positive outlook has a favorable impact on the success rate of the treatment. Through CanServe, patients can interact with formerly afflicted people, now cured and healthy and regain hope. Such patients can accept the treatment more easily.”
CanServe will be led by its President, Mrs. M. J. Ushadevi, herself a breast-cancer survivor. She also spoke to us about the objectives and the planned activities.
“We will interact with patients and give them moral support during the various stages of their treatment. Our mission is to create awareness among people and help them realize that cancer is curable when detected at an early stage.”
“We want to ensure that no one faces cancer alone.”
Canserve is actively supported by Amrita faculty and staff members. Ms. Anila, Medical Social Worker at the Department of Oncology, shed more light on this aspect of the initiative.
“With the aim of educating family members of the patients and the general public, CanServe members have begun learning more about the disease and its treatment methods from our medical personnel. They intend to take their knowledge and insights to schools, colleges, resident associations and working groups so as to increase the overall awareness about cancer and its treatment methods,” she said.
At the inauguration, Mr. Rajasekharan, a survivor of tonsil cancer and Mr. M. Krishnan, who survived larynx cancer, shared their experiences. As members of CanServe, they motivated others in the audience to consider joining the group.
“By sharing our own experiences and providing support and courage to other patients, we have the feeling of giving back something worthwhile. This should help make our lives more meaningful,” they said.
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