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Mon, 27 Jan 2020

Northeast Today

North East Regional Dental Conference collaborates with Assam Cancer Care Foundation for community oral screening outreach

North East Regional Dental Conference collaborates with Assam Cancer Care Foundation for community oral screening outreach
December 09
17:21 2019

NET Bureau

The North East Regional Dental Conference, being organised to commemorate the golden jubilee of the Assam Branch of the Indian Dental Association,has collaborated with Assam Cancer Care Foundation (ACCF) -an initiative of Government of Assam and the Tata Trusts -at the GMCH Auditorium on the 7th and 8th December, 2019.At the conference, ACCF has initiated outreach activities to form a coalition of dentists and generate awareness among all the dentists of the region to work towards cancer care.

Magnitude of the Problem-

Cancer is the leading cause of death around the globe and deaths from cancer worldwide are projected to continue to rise to over 13.1 million by 2030. (WHO-2018).In India, cancer accounted for about 11,57,294 new cases annually and 7,84,821 deaths in the year 2018 (Globocan 2018).

According to Lancet, Oral cancer is the most common cancer in India amongst men (16.1 % of all cancers). According to Lancet, collectively the North East region has the highest rates of age standardised cancer incidence rates in India — annually crossing more than 1.5 lakh patient cases. In Assam, specifically, every year, more than 35,000 new cancer cases are reported; of which 70% cases reported are in their advance stage with high mortality rates of around 40-50%. The collective tobacco usage, particularly smokeless tobacco, is responsible for 50% of all cancer cases and, at 48.2%, its prevalence is among one of the highest in Assam. Around 80-90% of oral cancers are directly attributable to tobacco use.

“The idea is to make the Dental Professionals of the region aware about the work that is being done to make a robust cancer care grid in Assam. There is ahigh prevalence of Oral Cancers because of widespread usage of tobacco and the late detection leading to high crude cancer death rates in Assam. To address both the issues, ACCF has initiated community screenings and tobacco control activities. The entire fraternity of dentists is critical towards reaching every adult of Assam and screening them for cancer. They are the key drivers of the understanding of prevention, early detection and effective referrals for treatment of oral cancers. We hope to channelize all these referrals to the public infrastructure and government health programmes for cancer. It is an opportunity for the doctors to connect with ACCF and their outreach network for screening programmes”,said Dr Jogeshwar Burman,Indian Dental Association, Assam.

The chief guest of the programme will be Hon. Chief Minister, Shri. Sarbananda Sonowal, and Mr. Kuladhar Saikia, Ex-DGP of the state of Assam.This is the first step towards making Oral Cancer Prevention a public health movement led by the dentists of this region. Dr. Paul Sebastian, Head of Prevention Programme, and Dr. Kunal Oswal, Lead – Public Health, Prevention Programme of Cancer Care Initiatives of the Tata Trusts will deliver lectures on the Distributed Model of Cancer Care, and Role of dentists in cancer carerespectively, at the conference onDecember 08. Additionally, have set up a pavilion focussing on Prevention, Early Detection and Palliative Care work wherein, each dentist is coming to take a pledge for cancer care.

“We are playing short interactive videos about ACCF and its community outreach programmes. Free IEC materials is available and being distributed to doctors to engage and take home. As anoncologist myself, I understand the importance of the dentistfraternity in realising the dream of a cancer free Assam. Through this outreach programme, we plan to create awareness among the community about cancer, detecting oral cancers in early stages, and ensure prompt diagnosis and treatment at referral hospitals by working in close partnership with the National Health Mission andGovernment health facilities. Our endeavour is to make every dentist pledge towards working for a cancer-free north east”, said Dr.Paul Sebastian, Tata Trusts.

Importance of Cancer Prevention, Early Detection and Palliative Care

ACCF has been working on preventionthrough intensive outreach programmes on tobacco control, prevention of common cancers, and behavioural change. To address the high mortality rates due to late detection, it has set up free screening camps for oral, breast and cervical cancers. In Palliative Care, which has special relevance due to high mortality in cancer, ACCF Palliative Care Units are now open in AMCH, Dibrugarh; JMCH, Jorhat; and State Cancer Institute, Guwahati . Additional workshops on Palliative care for CHOs, ANMs and ASHA workers have taken off across Assam.

To further its goals of achieving a robust public health mechanism in Assam, ACCF has also set up a first of its kind Community Outreach Programme. TheCommunity Outreach Programme – Screening and Awareness of common Non-Communicable Diseases, in partnership with NHM has begunforpeople between 30-65 years of age for hypertension, diabetes mellitus and commons cancers- oral, breast, and cervical. ACCF’s endeavour is to bring public health to the community and making early detection the key principle for screenings.

About Assam Cancer Care Foundation

Assam Cancer Care Foundation (ACCF) is an initiative of the Government of Assam and the Tata Trusts, established to create a three-tiered comprehensive cancer care network to provide accessible and affordable care for the denizens.
It aims at strengthening the continuum of cancer controlactivities and servicesby setting up state-of-the-art cancer care facilities across the state of Assam. ACCF aims to democratize access of cancer care across North-East. ACCF is implementing an Inclusive Cancer Care Programme to ensure that no person, by virtue of accessibility or affordability, is deprived of quality cancer care. With a distributed cancer care model that includes awareness, enhanced access, affordable care and uniform care. The hospitals will be strategically located to ensure everyone has access to the full suite of treatment without having to travel too far from their base,thereby forming thelargest Network of Cancer care facilities in India. The construction is already in progress at Diphu, Dibrugarh, Jorhat, Lakhimpur, Tezpur, Guwahati and Barpeta.

ACCF works towards strengthening the continuum of cancer care activities and services through extensive research focusing on reducing overall burden of the patient and by sensitizing citizens through awareness, prevention, early detection, and palliative care.


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