KOCHI: A first-of-its kind mobile mammogram unit will soon be unveiled in the state. The unit will mainly crisscross Ernakulam, Idukki and Palakkad districts but its services will be available across the state considering the need. An key part in breast cancer detection, the mammogram machine in the unit is digital and is said to be only the second such one in the country.Normally, there is a long waiting period for getting a mammogram done at a government facility. At the Ernakulam General hospital alone 300 people are waiting for mammogram as of now. The waiting period for a routine mammogram at the Regional Cancer Centre is six months .
The mammogram unit worth Rs 1.7 crore is being funded by Rotary Cochin. mammogram unit will start functioning at the Ernakulam General Hospital in a few weeks. The pending 300 cases will be attended to before the unit moves to other hospitals and later into selected areas.“I first went and saw a model in Srirangam which is also funded by Rotary. After seeing that, I wanted it here and along with Cancure, who will manage the facility, we got the van and the machine,” said R Jayashankar, DRFCC, Rotary Cochin.
The van is registered in the name of Cancure and has two technical staff hired and trained by the Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences(AIMS). The van will have a coordinator apart from the driver and the technical staff.“Creating awareness about early cancer detection, especially breast cancer among women, has been a major issue faced by those engaged in the mission.
Primarily, the fear of detecting a malignant lump stops women. In several cases, it is the lack of the availability of mammogram which hinders timely treatment. We at Cancure foundation goes to at least 500 houses nearby and hands out pamphlets and encourage them to take part when we do cancer detection camps. We will follow the same in the case of the mobile unit,” said R Madhav Chandran, Cancure Foundation honorary secretary. Actress Asha Sarath is the brand ambassador of the initiative.
The waiting period for a routine mammogram at the Regional Cancer Centre is six months . The mammogram unit worth `1.7 crore is being funded by Rotary Cochin. mammogram unit will start functioning at the Ernakulam General Hospital in a few weeks.