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Desk of Chairman

Pankaj R. Patel,
Chairman, G.C. R.I.

 
 

The fight against cancer is one of the toughest fights one can face. Each year the count of those battling it is on the rise. Some are fortunate to have families and friends who support them. Some others grimly battle it out on their own. Gujarat Cancer & Research Institute (GCRI) has been playing a stellar role as a Regional Cancer Centre giving a reassurance to patients that they are not alone.

Cancer is the fastest growing disease worldwide. Each year, about 12 million people are diagnosed with cancer across the globe. In developed countries, cancer has become the leading cause of death, and in developing countries, it is second only to heart disease. Our elderly population is at high risk as it has been found that after the age of 55 years, the risk of cancer increases to 78% in developed countries as opposed to 58% in developing countries. By 2020, the global cancer burden is expected to rise by 50% owing to the increasingly elderly population. It is estimated that by 2030, the global cancer burden will nearly double, growing to 21.4 million cases and 13.2 million deaths.

All this is likely to pose a challenge to the delivery of cancer care as it will increase the need for more comprehensive and accessible cancer care management. Coordinated, team-based cancer care will be essential to ensure value-based care. The increasing incidence and prevalence of cancer will place new demands on our health care systems.

Gujarat Cancer & Research Institute’s (GCRI) mission has been to look at comprehensive healthcare management to address these challenges. Last year 28,813 new cases were registered. GCRI treated 2,99,393 outdoor patients and 2,46,672 indoor admissions. The sheer number of tests and screenings which is an important part of cancer detection and treatment handled by GCRI last year is equally staggering - 19,08,765 laboratory tests have been conducted, 2,93,135 histologic, cytologic and bone marrow examinations, 1,03,238 imaging and radiological investigations besides 20,944 major and minor surgeries, 50,036 chemotherapy and 80,000 radiation treatments. All this speaks of GCRI’s ongoing commitment to help patients receive cutting-edge treatment and services, especially those who are underprivileged and needy.

With research being one of the important components GCRI has 5 well equipped research labs, 54 research projects and 9 clinical trials are currently underway. GCRI is connected with national registry programme spearheaded by ICMR, the Ahmedabad district cancer control programme rolled out by the Govt. of India under NCCP and the Govt. of Gujarat's cancer atlas project.

GCRI also conducts OPD and indoor activities for diagnosis, offers treatment, monitors disease progress and renders free or subsidized treatment to needy patients. It runs early detection programme, hospice care, telepathology and telemedicine projects and has also instituted a patient care evaluation committee. Six mobile cancer screening van (Sanjeevani Rath) camps were organized in various places of Gujarat.

Several programmes have been initiated for education and creating awareness. In 2013, 7238 visitors from various schools, colleges, institutions and NGOs participated in the exhibition on the hazards of tobacco and smoking.

Cancer has diverse implications and impacts diverse populations. GCRI has been committed to meet this challenge by stepping up efforts directed at screening for cancer, treating, and improving survival of cancer besides looking at strategies to manage the costs related to cancer. A comprehensive and appropriate cancer strategy takes into account that cancer strikes across age groups, gender and socioeconomic disparities. Any healthcare strategy must include prevention and early detection of cancer, evidence-based treatment strategies, access to affordable cancer management, supportive care to meet patient needs and provide support and dignity in all settings.

There is much ground to be covered in this ongoing Fight against cancer and GCRI is fortunate to have a team of dedicated and highly committed physicians, surgeons, academicians, researchers, administrators and healthcare management professionals who carry the torch of care and compassion and with it light the hope for people suffering from the scourge of cancer.

As we march ahead in this battle against cancer, we will continue to strive to improve the patient care facilities as well as clinical care. We also plan to undertake a broadbased transformational programme which will take us to higher levels of excellence in care and treatment. The overall aim is to transform GCRI into a world-class cancer care, treatment and research centre.

Pankaj R. Patel

Chairman,
Governing Board, GCRI

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