THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The State Government will take all efforts to upgrade the Regional Cancer Centre (RCC) as a national cancer institute, Health Minister V S Sivakumar said on Sunday.
He was speaking after inaugurating a state-level workshop on ‘Role of dental surgeons in prevention and control of oral cancer’ here. The Minister assured all support for the development and growth of RCC, which has been providing treatment to nearly two lakh patients every year.
Sivakumar also said that a proposal to provide free transport to cancer patients in KSRTC buses was in the pipeline and orders to this effect would be issued soon. He termed the workshop a first-of-its-kind exercise which would serve to provide specialised awareness to dental professionals on oral cancer treatment and care.
The workshop was organised with the support of National Rural Health Mission, Kerala and Indian Dental Association (IDA), Kerala State, to explore and discuss the opportunities and challenges for dental practitioners and surgeons in early detection of oral cancers.
RCC director Dr Paul Sebastian, in his presidential address, said early detection of oral cancer cases would bring down treatment costs and post-treatment complications. Early detection and appropriate referral by dental practitioners can help cure 90 per cent of oral cancer cases, he said.
Dr M Ravindranath, IDA national vice-president, called upon dental professionals to provide greater support to oral cancer management.
Dr K Ramadas, Professor, Radiation Oncology Division and Medical Superintendent, RCC, said that the incidence of oral cancer was highest among males and third highest among females in India. Nearly 46,000 people die from oral cancer in the country every year.
Dr Shibu Rajagopal, honorary state secretary, IDA, Kerala State; Dr Premjith, vice- president, IDA, Kerala State and Dr Babu Mathew, dean, Azeezia Dental College, Kollam spoke on the occasion. Dr Gigi Thomas, Additional Professor, Community Oncology Division, RCC, proposed a vote of thanks.