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Indian Journal of Medical and Paediatric Oncology
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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 40  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 194-195  

Organizing a cancer screening camp in low-resource settings: Experience from North India

Department of Community Medicine, School of Public Health, PGIMER, Chandigarh, India

Date of Web Publication25-Jul-2019

Correspondence Address:
M A Bashar
R. No. 126, School of Public Health, PGIMER, Chandigarh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijmpo.ijmpo_146_17

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How to cite this article:
Bashar M A, Aggarwal A K. Organizing a cancer screening camp in low-resource settings: Experience from North India. Indian J Med Paediatr Oncol 2019;40, Suppl S1:194-5

How to cite this URL:
Bashar M A, Aggarwal A K. Organizing a cancer screening camp in low-resource settings: Experience from North India. Indian J Med Paediatr Oncol [serial online] 2019 [cited 2020 Jun 4];40, Suppl S1:194-5. Available from: http://www.ijmpo.org/text.asp?2019/40/5/194/263290


In India, there are approximately 948,900 new cancer cases and 633,500 deaths annually.[1] This large-scale morbidity and mortality of cancer can easily be minimized with well-planned cancer education, organized screening, and early detection programs. However, there has been no organized cancer screening program across the country in India, and it remains mainly opportunistic, with the consequence that a majority of the cancers are diagnosed at advanced stages of the disease. The standard methods and technologies utilized for screening cancers in developed countries (e.g., cytology for cervix and mammography for breast cancer screening) are not directly applicable to developing countries like India, due to resource constraints and absence of trained workforce. Hence, simple, socially and culturally acceptable, and cost-effective technologies are required for organized cancer screening in the Indian scenario. Several such screening tests for the early detection of common cancers and methods of implementing the same at the community level have been tested in various parts of India.[2],[3],[4],[5],[6]

We conducted one such organized cancer screening camp in a rural settings to create awareness of common cancers, detecting precancers of the cervix and oral cavity, and early cancers of the breast, cervix, and oral cavity, through screening with the use of simple, low-cost technology, i.e., naked eye oral visual inspection (OVI), clinical breast examination (CBE), Visual inspection with acetic acid(VIA) of the cervix by trained primary health-care workers, facilitating confirmation of diagnosis among the screen positives, and treatment and follow-up of the diagnosed cases. These simple screening methods are well recommended by the World Health Organization in low-resource settings and have shown promising results.[7],[8],[9]

The screening camp was organized in a rural block of Haryana by the Department of Community Medicine, PGIMER, Chandigarh in collaboration with local district hospital. The camp had a total attendees of 90 participants (40 males and 50 females) above 30 years of age. A health education program on various risk factors of common cancers was initially imparted to the participants. All participants underwent OVI for oral cavity cancer, and all women underwent CBE for breast cancer screening. However, only 26 (52.0%) consented to undergo VIA for cervical cancer screening. Out of the 90 participants undergoing OVI, one male participant was found to have leukoplakia, a premalignant lesion and was counseled to quit smoking and habit of tobacco chewing and was referred to the district hospital for further management. Out of the 50 women which undergone CBE, two were found to have suspected breast lumps which were later confirmed as fibroadenomas. Out of the 26 women undergone VIA, one was found positive which was later confirmed as low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion and was instituted on treatment.

The simple, low-cost technologies used for screening in this camp have been studied in several trials in low-income countries.[2],[3],[4],[5],[6],[10] The organized screening camp demonstrates an example of cancer screening program in low-resource settings with considerably good success. Acceptability of the program was also excellent, and a good number of suspected precancer cases were detected in totally asymptomatic patients.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Ferlay J, Shin HR, Bray F, Forman D, Mathers C, Parkin DM. GLOBOCAN 2008, Cancer Incidence and Mortality Worldwide: IARC Cancer Base No. 10. Lyon, France: International Agency for Research on Cancer; 2010. Available from: http://www. globocan.iarc.fr. [Last accessed on 2018 Oct 20].  Back to cited text no. 1
Available from: http://www.mohfw.nic.in/NationalCancerControlProgram. [Last accessed on 2017 Jul 17].  Back to cited text no. 2
Dinshaw KA, Ganesh B. Hospital Based Cancer Registry. Annual Report 2002-2005. Mumbai: Tata Memorial Centre; 2008.  Back to cited text no. 3
Mittra I, Mishra GA, Singh S, Aranke S, Notani P, Badwe R, et al. A cluster randomized, controlled trial of breast and cervix cancer screening in Mumbai, India: Methodology and interim results after three rounds of screening. Int J Cancer 2010;126:976-84.  Back to cited text no. 4
Sankaranarayanan R, Rajkumar R, Theresa R, Esmy PO, Mahe C, Bagyalakshmi KR, et al. Initial results from a randomized trial of cervical visual screening in rural South India. Int J Cancer 2004;109:461-7.  Back to cited text no. 5
Sankaranarayanan R, Ramadas K, Thomas G, Muwonge R, Thara S, Mathew B, et al. Effect of screening on oral cancer mortality in Kerala, India: A cluster-randomised controlled trial. Lancet 2005;365:1927-33.  Back to cited text no. 6
World Health Organization. Breast Cancer: Prevention and Control. Available from: http://www.who.int/cancer/detection/breastcancer/en/. [Last accessed on 2017 Apr 28].  Back to cited text no. 7
World Health Organization. Screening for Cervical Cancer. Available from: http://www.who.int/cancer/detection/cervical_cancer_screening/en/. [Last accessed on 2017 Apr 28].  Back to cited text no. 8
World Health Organization. Screening for Oral Cancer. Available from: http://www.who.int/cancer/detection/oralcancer/en/. [Last accessed on 2017 Apr 28].  Back to cited text no. 9
Dinshaw K, Mishra G, Shastri S, Badwe R, Kerkar R, Ramani S, et al. Determinants of compliance in a cluster randomised controlled trial on screening of breast and cervix cancer in Mumbai, India 1. Compliance to screening. Oncology 2007;73:145-53.  Back to cited text no. 10


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