A life-saving New Year gift for cancer patients

 In what is literally a life-saver of a New Year gift, Sri Ramakrishna Institute of Oncology and Research here has come out with an initiative to distribute free of cost a drug for treating liver and renal cancers.

At a launch function held on Monday, Director of the institute R. Guhan said that anybody in Tamil Nadu or even outside the State could avail of this initiative to get sorafenib tablets which would improve the quality of life for the patients.

While a monthly dosage of 120 tablets (four per day) of this drug was costing more than Rs. 3 lakh earlier, it has been brought down to around Rs. 10,000 by Indian companies.

However, even this reduced amount might prove a huge burden as the drug had to be taken for as long as the patient was alive. This cost also takes an enormous psychological toll on the low and middle income families.

As such, he said that this initiative would help them to cut down on their medical costs. This tablet would counteract the cancer signals in a patient and arrest its spread to other organs. The institute was also providing this scheme for patients getting treatment from other doctors/hospitals.

Dr. Guhan said, “Prevalence of lung and renal cancers was high in the Western districts primarily due to alcohol. I alone see at least six to seven new cases every month. Only 10 per cent of these cases are detected at an early stage with rest coming for treatment only at an advanced stage.”

The Sri Ramakrishna Institute has undertaken this initiative to commemorate the ten years of service in cancer service. It was also distributing free of cost the drug imatinib mesylate used to treat a form of blood cancer, for the past three years to more than 100 patients.

Managing trustee of SNR and Sons C. Soundararaj and K. Karthikesh, a surgical oncologist, took part in the function.

Patients wishing to avail of the benefits of this scheme could contact the following numbers: telephone (0422) 4389797/4500203, mobile 95007 22889.

Source : The Hindu

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