Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Enactus DCAC Hosted Panel Discussion On Breast Cancer Awareness

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Shivam Malhotra
A social media enthusiast who is in love with this digital world! Wrote the first article for DU Express in May 2016. Delhi College of Arts & Commerce - Class of 2017
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Enactus Delhi College of Arts and Commerce hosted a panel discussion titled “Think Pink” on breast cancer awareness under Project Saahas, an initiative to spread awareness on breast cancer and aid and abet the breast cancer survivors.  A team of 80 young undergraduates came up with Think Pink’19, a one of its kind cancer awareness conclave to focus on women healthcare that would pave the way for development of Project Saahas.

In an effort to create awareness on an issue that is significant to the society, Enactus Delhi College of Arts and Commerce brought together the founders of leading cancer awareness organisations along with an expert surgical oncolologist. The panelists shared information on breast cancer and the threats imposed by the fatal disease, as a significantly large proportion of Indian women have lost their lives. The social taboo involved leads to a delay in detection of the disease, thereby, reducing the probability of survival. One in 8 women is at risk to face breast cancer. The goal of this public event was to spur discussion and raise consciousness about the system-wide factors that impact breast cancer as an individual experience, a social problem, and a health epidemic.

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Ms Renuka Prasad, member of the Indian Cancer Society addressed in her keynote, “Breast Cancer happens to be an end of the world for women. This big C, a horror, is no longer a warrant or death. The key to breast cancer prevention is detection. A breast is as significant as the other organs and needs to be taken care of.” She further emphasised on the issue of employee health. In her address, she said that employers need to be sensitised that employees need to be healthy. Ms. Dimple Bawa, Founder of Cheers to Life Foundation shared her own experience being a breast cancer survivor. Her own story influenced her to begin a foundation for breast cancer awareness. She said, “Cancer cannot take away my life. I may die of a road accident but not of cancer. I had the will power and so I survived.” The motive was to emphasize more on breast health rather than breast cancer. She further added “It is high time now. We should talk about breast health rather than breast cancer. It is more important to talk about breast health  instead of creating a panic among the youth about breast cancer. The change begins with you, with one individual.”

Dr Neha Garg, a member of Roko Cancer Trust said that cancer is not just a problem prevalent in India. It is a disease that is spreading like wildfire even in the Western countries. However, the mortality rate of cancer in India is double the rate in other countries. The lack of cancer awareness in India has been the major reason behind this high mortality rate. As the discussion progressed, Dr Mansi Chowhan, a Surgical Oncologist, directed everyone’s attention to the reason behind high proportion of cancer patients in a developing country like India. She said “A country like India has got no support by the Government. The National Screening programs in the other countries are funded by the government, which is evidently absent in India. Moreover, the acceptance of cancer and its treatment by the rural population in India has been a taboo since long.”

Dr Aarushi Kehar, a member of YouWeCan, said that India is a country where people are diagnosed with cancer at 3rd or 4th stage. People are not determined to take a self breast examination as soon as the menstrual cycle begins. She advocated this being a reason why developing nation like India is victim to the epidemic disease. Mammography is a screening program only for the women above 40 years of age. What about the youth? A self breast examination involving inspection of lumps in the breast is the only possible way of detecting breast cancer symptoms.

Ms Akriti Gupta, the Founder of Win Over Cancer advocated the need of awareness of disease in the rural population. She insisted on the need of beginning from the basics and spreading awareness about Breast Cancer, Being a daughter of a cancer warrior, she said “Cancer patients should not be treated as patients. Rather, they should be treated as warriors.” Ms Akriti also dispelled the common myth that wearing a black bra during summer causes breast cancer. After a 90 minute long productive panel discussion, Dr Mansi Chowhan shared information on self breast examination. The discussion was a myth buster and an informative one. Panelists shared their opinions on breast health. She said “It is the youth who will bring the change. Men need to look after their mothers, women, sisters, and friends. You need to have the will power to win over breast cancer.”

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