Bengaluru: Beats to beat cancer

Written by: Maitreyee Boruah

Bengaluru, July 28: Cancer is the second leading cause of death after cardiovascular disease in India, up from seventh in 2000. India has some of the world's highest instances of cervical, oral, pharynx and gall bladder cancer cases. There has been an increase in relative instances of tobacco-related cancer, breast cancer in women and prostate cancer in men.

These are some of the mind-boggling facts and figures related to cancer shared with OneIndia by the members of Indian Cancer Society (ICS), Karnataka Chapter. ICS, Karnataka Chapter, is all set to host the second edition of their annual fundraising and cancer awareness event - Beat Cancer Musical Night--at Chowdiah Memorial Hall on August 5.

Bengaluru: Beats to beat cancer

"The event is to celebrate the spirit of those who have survived cancer, to honour care-givers and to inspire all those who have recently been diagnosed with cancer," said Vijay Sharma, honorary secretary, ICS, Karnataka Chapter.

"Last year's event was a huge success. People from all walks of life supported our cause. It has motivated us to curate the second edition. We are hopeful that music-lovers of the city will enjoy the musical extravaganza," Sharma added.

Some of the well-known musicians to enthrall the audiences are Ranjit Barot, Vijay Prakash, Rakesh Chaurasia, Vijay Ghate, Stephen Devassy and Giridhar Udupa, to name a few.

"The musical event will be a celebration of life. With its objective to beat cancer in Karnataka, we want to create awareness and raise funds to reach out to a larger number of cancer patients belonging to the economically weaker section of society," said Sharma.

"Last financial year, we increased our focus significantly on early cancer detection in rural Karnataka. Number of early detection camps went up by 117 per cent, while cancer awareness sessions increased by 67 per cent. Another of our achievements during this period was to build a team of trained counsellors. This team has been doing an amazing job of counselling cancer patients and care-givers at multiple hospitals," added Kishore Rao, chairperson of ICS, Karnataka.

According to the figures available with ICS, one-third of the most common cancer types can be prevented. Incidence rates of cervical and oral cancer in India are significantly higher when compared to global incidence rates. A large percentage of these incidences and associated mortality can be prevented. This makes it important to spread the word about this preventability.

"We intend to continue scaling up our operations rapidly in Karnataka. For this, we need more Bengalureans to support us through volunteering and donations," said Rao.

"After establishing Karunasharya, Bangalore Hospice Trust (joint initiative with Rotary Bangalore, Indiranagar), ICS, Karnataka Chapter, is now focusing on bringing down cancer incidence and mortality rates in the region. Its motto is to prevent cancer by increasing awareness levels and holding more number of early detection camps.

In this endeavor, ICS is reaching out to more corporates, colleges and rural areas. Much of these achievements have been possible through the support of a dedicated community of volunteers. They selflessly devote their time and effort to take forward the vision of ICS and be the beacon of hope in the fight against cancer," added Rao.

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