October was Breast Cancer Awareness month; during which time WIN conducted programs focused on spreading awareness and screening. According to eminent Oncologist Dr Ajay Mehta, every day 2000 women in India are diagnosed with breast cancer. With most women seeking medical intervention when the cancer is too advanced to be cured, WIN is more determined than ever to prevent women from a premature and agonising death. Given that only 0.04% of terminally ill Indian people have access to morphine - the gold standard in pain control - it’s vital that we encourage as many women as possible to be screened.
Our programmes focus on areas where women are at a greater risk of developing advanced cancer, often due to lack of awareness and a reluctance to be screened. One such area is an extensive urban slum called Pillinaddi; predominantly occupied by Muslims. Islam teaches modesty, so Muslim women are usually very reluctant to be screened for cancer. WIN however managed to persuade a handful of women to be screened; which later inspired more Muslim women from Pillinaddi to be screened too. This is great progress for the charity.
In collaboration with the Cancer Relief Society, and the doctors, nurses and social workers of Government Medical College Hospital, WIN was able to screen 160 women; out of which 17 presented abnormalities.
With figures for breast and cervical cancer rising rapidly, Women in Need is more committed than ever to spreading
awareness and encouraging women to be screened.
WIN’s social worker, Pooja encouraging the women of Pillinaddi to be screened.