Cancer is one of the most feared and dreaded diseases worldwide, responsible for the deaths of nearly 9.5 million people in 2018. It is the second leading cause of death as per the World Health Organisation. As per studies, in India, we see 1,300 deaths due to cancer every day. These statistics are truly astonishing and scary. In recent few decades, the number of cancer patients has been increasingly on the rise. 

Keeping this in mind, an online webinar, “Cancer Prevention and Palliative Care”  was organised by the Dharamshila Cancer Foundation and Research Centre for our parents and teachers on 17 March, 2021. The session was conducted by Dr Suversha Khanna, Founder and President of the Dharamshila Cancer Foundation and Research Centre along with Dr. Pragya Singh, Senior Project Manager.

The webinar commencd with Dr. Pragya Singh explaining how cancer has been a great threat, by sharing statistics of increasing cancer cases. She explained the primary reasons that cause cancer in males and females. She also informed parents about some common types of cancer. Symptoms and the seven warning signs of cancer were also discussed. She also threw light on some primary and secondary preventive factors we should keep in mind to protect ourselves.

Dr. Singh stated that one should not take one's health for granted. She explained the various stages of the disease and emphasided on the importance of a healthy lifestyle, clean surroundings and an alert attitude.

Dr. Suversha Khanna shouldered the rest of the session. She gave  a brief description of the term, “Palliative Care” and how medicines aren’t the only way to take active and comprehensive care of patients, suffering from incurable progressive life threatening conditions. It extends far beyond just physical care.

Palliative care addresses the needs of patients and their families, enhances the quality of life which positively influences the course of illness, helps to avoid unnecessary investigations, procedures, drugs and expenditure. This kind of care is required for months to years.

Palliative care addresses the psychological, spiritual and economic issues of every patient and this care can be given everywhere. Dr. Khanna shared a touching story about when her father got diagnosed with cancer and her own personal struggle to ensure his health.

Overall the session was very informative, heartening and encouraging.