The Fight Against Cancer - Dais World signs MoU with Tata Memorial Hospital
Dais Editorial | 12/09/2021 05:05 PM
Cancer - The word alone is enough to sink the hearts of people, and with good reason. It is a horrific disease that creeps in slowly and kills painfully. Nearly 10 million deaths in 2020 were because of Cancer and this issue has seen an exponential increase over the years.
This does not discriminate, never actually did. An estimated 1.6 to 4.8% of all cancer cases in India is seen in children below the age of 15, and that accounts for 38 to 124 million children being diagnosed every year. When a person is diagnosed with cancer, it doesn’t just test the resolve of a person physically, but also mentally. It affects the well-being of their loved ones who are left shaken while witnessing their suffering. The kind of trauma that flows across the family beyond what the patient is already going through, is one I can attest to from my personal experience. My mother was diagnosed with cancer in 2006. She was referred to Tata Memorial Hospital (TMH) in Mumbai.
For those merely familiar with the name and not its function, TMH is a specialist cancer treatment and research centre that treats the patients from all the economic and social brackets across the country. The hospital is known for being a state-of-the-art centre with pioneering treatments and research being carried out. It envisages to “provide leadership for guiding the national policy and strategy for cancer care by: promoting outstanding service through evidence-based practice of oncology; emphasis on research, which is affordable, innovative and relevant to the needs of the country; committed to providing education in cancer for students, trainees, professionals, employees and the public.”
TMH lives up to this vision — it provides the best facilities and the best treatments, and with the help of the Tata Memorial Trust, it provides medicine and cancer healthcare to the have-nots from across the Indian subcontinent. I experienced their dedication and care all through my mother’s treatment, and the gratitude I had for TMH has stayed through the years. I follow their endeavour to understand cancer and development of preventative and curative measures for the disease. In honour of the battle of many such mothers and fathers and sons and daughters battling against cancer within the four walls of TMH or somehow connected to it, I took this opportunity to help this process.
Cancer is a nasty battle for the privileged, but for the underprivileged who do not have the financial resources to fight the battle, it is a massacre. Even for those who turn to Tata, in hopes of getting subsidised treatment, some have no option but to back off. Cancer is such an expensive disease, that not fighting it sometimes feels like a better option for those with no means. I felt a debt of responsibility to do something within my means to ensure that at least some of these people are given a fighting chance. For families with cancer patients, money is needed not just for medical treatments but also to establish a healthy living during the treatment. Despite its overstretched efforts, TMH does a commendable job in treating and caring for its patients.
But even with the fighting chance, cancer is not a weak enemy. Despite the leaps and bounds made in oncological research in the last few years, we still lose too many of our loved ones. We see their suffering and are permanently scarred in our minds. Despite our technological and scientific achievements, we haven’t eradicated the agonies caused to millions of people and their families.
This is not to say that cancer research has stagnated. In fact, the advancements made around the world and in TMH is visible through the evolution in treatments over the years. There was a time, not too long ago, when the chemotherapy treatment for cancer was riskier than the disease itself. People often went into remission but succumbed to the side effects of the treatment. We have gone from there to various pioneering stem cell, hormonal and oral chemotherapy treatments being used today. Tata is at the forefront of these innovations in India and has a specialised department dedicated to preventative oncology that aims to prevent and detect cancer at its early stages before it metastasises enough to be an uphill war for the patient.
It was thus an obvious choice for both Sonam Bhagat (Dais World’s Managing Editor, who incidentally also had parents who were treated at TMH) and me to pick Tata Memorial Hospital as a partner in our CSR endeavours. Nearly 60% of incoming cancer patients receive their primary care at TMH, and out of these 70% are treated almost free of any cost. The unique model of the hospital instils full faith in its Trust. One might wonder why a big organisation like Tata needs donations and charity to keep its hospital running. But in a country of 1.4 billion people like India where patients flock to TMH in the hundreds of thousands to get treated, every penny counts. Merely sustaining with government grants and their own profits is not possible when they are overextended on all sides. When organisations like Dais contribute to Tata, it eases and lessens the likelihood of tricky situations where the decisions are next to impossible. Healthcare is a universal human right, and by the contributions made by companies like ours, we can relieve the hospital and the patients from picking who gets priority in treatment and healthcare. Our contributions support the trust to continue functioning through the hardest of times, like the ongoing COVID pandemic, where a killer like cancer doesn’t stop killing just because a new killer is in town. Despite the extenuating circumstances faced by the hospital in coping and adjusting to the new reality of the pandemic, the intake and treatment of cancer patients never stopped. In TMH, Dais found an impactful and trusted partner, and it is my sincere hope that the small bit we do in associating and contributing to this cause will go on to help and change many lives.
In an era of scientific revolution where we invent a vaccine within a matter of mere months to save the planet from a Global Pandemic, we at Dais World believe not to wait till that same quest against cancer finally succeeds. The overall complexities around this terminal disease leave deep borne scars through lifestyle changes and uncertainties and fear and whatnot. Before a magic pill or a vaccine occurs or some sci-fi changes the narrative in future, we at Dais World will stay delighted to have gotten this opportunity to be serving a noble purpose. I hereby request you, our readers, followers, friends and our teammates to join me on this cause.
Editor-in-Chief | Founder