The Indian Cancer Society was founded in 1951 by Dr D Jussawala and Mr Naval Tata as India’s first non-profit organization for cancer.
Our activities encompass the entire continuum of cancer care – cancer awareness, screening for early detection, financial help for treatment, support groups, rehabilitation of cancer survivors, registry, research and education.
With the incidence of cancer being on the rise, it is important to raise cancer literacy and knowledge amongst the population. It is important to inform people about the early signs and symptoms, thus enabling them to go for immediate check up. Early detection of cancer will also result in access to treatment at an early stage. Since more than 30% of cancers can be prevented by modifying lifestyle or avoiding the risk factors it is essential to educate people about these aspects.
We create awareness about cancer through various programs such as:
- Awareness talks conducted in schools, colleges, corporates and the community
- Informative videos and posts on social media
- Educational films for breast, cervical, oral cancers
- Dangers of smoking and chewing tobacco
Screening for early detection
Many cancers are manageable when detected early and treated adequately.
Early detection of Cancer has been the core objective of conducting Screening Camps. Over the years, we have facilitated screening on a pan India basis for more than five lakh people through camps across Maharashtra and other states. Common cancers such as breast and cervical in women, and oral cancer in both are investigated.
These tests are done free of cost for the underprivileged. The suspect cases identified are further assisted in accessing diagnostic tests and treatment at the nearest cancer hospitals.
Cancer Cure Fund
Cancer Cure Fund provides financial aid for treatment of underprivileged Cancer patients. Most cancer patients in India do not survive as they are unable to afford the cost of treatment. This project provides financial aid of up to Rs 5 lakhs to each patient.
CCF was initiated in February 2011 as a joint initiative with HDFC AMC, when a close-ended capital protection oriented income scheme called ‘HDFC Debt Fund for Cancer Cure’ was launched. This scheme provides the investors an option to donate 50% or 100% of their dividend income to fund the treatment costs of underprivileged cancer patients. SBI Foundation, Union Bank of India, AT&T and other corporates too contribute to CCF. CCF has transformed the lives of over 7200 cancer patients, many of whom have completed their treatment and returned to a productive life again. ICS has implemented this at a pan India level and are pleased to report that 60% of the beneficiaries are less than 30 years old.
Dr Arun Kurkure Initiation and Treatment Fund
An amount of Rs 25,000 is sanctioned for initial diagnosis & initial treatment.
The absence of such support has the risk of patients abandoning the diagnostics, only to return to the hospital with the cancer in an advanced state. This initial fund facilitates the immediate commencement of treatment and gives them some time to seek other funding resources.
Survivorship and UGAM
Survivorship is an important component of the Cancer care continuum. We have founded an emotional support group of childhood Cancer survivors under its survivorship program, UGAM (To Rise). The objective of this program is to create awareness about curability of childhood Cancer, promote the importance of monitoring late effects of cancer therapy, empower the survivors through educational and vocational support, advocate for survivor’s issues and provide emotional support, motivation and hope to childhood cancer patients and their parents.
ICS has developed a Cancer survivorship module for holistic psychosocial care of Cancer survivors in partnership with Cancer treating units that will look after their medical needs.
ICS has launched Dr D J Jussawalla Education & Vocational skills for young cancer survivors which will enable the survivors to continue their education or vocational skills and reach the maximum potential to the best of their abilities.
Registry, Research and Education
ICS’s Cancer Registry is the 1st registry in India and 2nd in Asia covering the entire population of Greater Mumbai. The Mumbai Registry was established in 1963, followed by Pune (1972), Aurangabad (1978) and Nagpur (1980). The aim of the registry is to obtain reliable cancer – related incidence data from a defined urban population. The Registry studies the pattern of diseases in the population and documents habits, behavior patterns and the environmental background that could impact the onset of cancer. The goal is to identify factors leading to a better understanding of Cancer, which then leads to improved prevention, screening and early diagnostic strategies.
The Registry has contributed significantly in providing information for planning, implementing and monitoring Cancer control inputs and evaluating Cancer control outcomes. The registry data is useful for projecting the magnitude, pattern and trends of Cancer incidence in India. The Registry has published more than 100 research articles in International and National Journals and 50 Monographs on Cancer incidence and mortality, survival and trends.
Indian Journal of Cancer: The Indian Journal of Cancer, the first indexed oncology journal from India, was established in 1963 and is serving the needs of all the specialties of oncology.
ICS has been providing rehabilitation to cancer survivors since inception.
Rehabilitation Therapy, Prosthetic and Orthotic Aids: This department produces aids and appliances like jaw stretcher keys, stoma bags, irrigator sets, lumbar belts and breast prosthesis. The most unique aspect is that these aids are produced by Cancer survivors.
Psychosocial and Community adjustment services: Vocational rehabilitation and skill training, Cancer survivorship program, counselling for patients, survivors and their families.
Rehabilitation Centre: Patients are given vocational training which is a six month tailoring course. At the end of the course they are given a sewing machine to take home, to enable them to earn a living. They also receive a stipend, travel expenses, lunch, tea and milk every day during the duration of the course.