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April - May 2006
Successful Launch of India's First Mobile Breast Cancer Screening Unit
The Governor of Mumbai Mr. V. Krishna arranged a function for he Roko Cancer Movement at his residence in Mumbai. Dr Badwe of Tata Memorial Institute for Cancer andmany Bollywood stars, including Kiron Kher, Madhuri Bhatia attended the function.
PUNJAB – In a wonderful New Year’s gift for the women of Punjab, Amritsar provided a backdrop to a scene of great celebration and joy last month (Dec 18, 2005) following the successful launch of the MKC Trust’s Roko Cancer Appeal’s mobile breast cancer screening unit - a brand-new coach-sized fully-equipped clinic which provides free mammographies and ultrasound therapy to women (and men) who may be at risk of breast cancer.
In Delhi, on 16 December, the unit was launched by the Vice President of India at his residence. Later that day, a launch function was held attended by the Deputy British High Commissioner to India; Sheila Dixit, Chief Minister of Delhi; senior Government Ministers and MPs in India and Britain, including Keith Vaz MP. Also attending were high-profile stars of Bollywood and influential VIPs from the world of science, medicine, education and technology.
The unit was seen a testament to the generosity of the British and Indian peoples who supported both the vision and the pioneering work of APS (Pal) Chawla, founder of Roko Cancer.
Mr Chawla, known as Pal, is a leading figure who promotes Indo-British relations and is recognised as a pioneer in raising cancer awareness.
Well-connected, this remarkable man lists both the Indian and UK Prime Ministers as supporters and is championed by Cherie Blair, Sandra Howard, Sarah Kennedy and other prominent supporters within the UK Government.
Jeremy Hughes, Chief Executive of Breakthrough Breast Cancer, one of the guests who attended the unit’s launch praised Mr Chawla for his fight against cancer.
He said: “The
unit is a tribute to the fundraising of Pal Chawla. He and his family have
mobilised the community to raise funds for this remarkable achievement. Many
people dream of such an undertaking but few make it happen. Paul Chawla’s
determination and vision have paid off.”
Latest figures show how 80,000 women in India develop breast cancer each year. In Britain, the figure is 40,000. Experts agree that early detection is the key in the successful treatment of breast cancer so it is hoped that the new unit, launched by Paul Chawla, will further encourage women to look after their health.
A DVD produced by the Roko Cancer Appeal emphasises just that and urges women to make healthy living a priority alongside the everyday concerns of modern-day life.
Further plans include a documentary on preventing breast cancer, collaborative work with Breakthrough Breast Cancer and Breast Cancer Care and developing a new campaign targetting black and minority ethnic women (BME) in the UK.
To support this work, MP Keith Vaz has launched The Tiffin Club, a fundraising venture which will raise money for the Roko Cancer Appeal. Cross-party MPs from around the UK are supporting the initiative and on 16 May 2006, an unprecedented Roko Cancer Day will take place exclusively at the House of Commons and follows a year in which his hard work has paid off.
Said Pal: “I am proud to provide just a small drop in the ocean. Others will will help to fill it and together we will build this campaign on behalf of the vulnerable and disadvantaged within society. I was tremendously moved by the support given in endorsing the work started. Our next stage now is to work more closely with BME communities so that they can be free from fear and encouraged to seek preventative medical help if they feel they might be at risk from breast cancer.”
According to Dr Badwe of India’s Tata Memorial Hospital, statistics of Maharashtra Western India show that one in every 25 women will develop breast cancer. In southern India, statistics show that in Madras, Tamil Nadu one in every 32 women is affected by the disease while in northern India the incidence rates are one in every 30. Latest figures show that of the 80,000 women in India who developed breast cancer the largest number was in the age group of 40-65 yrs. This has been attributed to affluence, late marriage and low breast feeding.
the screening unit
The MKC Trust’s Roko Cancer Appeal
1 To offer
financial support to hospitals in their palliative care and treatment of
breast cancer patients
information please contact Joycelyn Bruce Press Officer