By Chitra Ahanthem
IMPHAL, November 1: An awareness and free detection of cervical and breast cancer camp was today held at Jeevan Hospital in Kakching by the Lions Club of Leiramrol, Imphal as part of its bi-annual initiative to ensure that women get access to reproductive health services. Over 150 women from areas around Kakching attended the camp and were examined by the medical staff of two private hospitals- Jeevan Hospital of Kakching and City Hospital of Imphal. A similar free detection camp for cervical and breast cancer had been held at Churachandpur with the trend of bi-annual camps being held every year on May 1 and November 1 since 2008 organized by the Lions Club of Leimarol.
A host of reputed specialists spoke at the simple function, highlighting how breast cancer and cervical cancer can be treated if detected on time in its early stages. Dr. T. Bilashini, a reputed gynecologist and founding President of the Lions Club of Leimarol mentioned that cervical cancer continues to cause the death of millions of women across the world only because they fail to access services for its early detection. “All it takes is a pap smear that can give an indicator of whether a woman is at risk of cervical cancer,” she mentioned.
Dr H Ibemhal, also associated with the Lions Club of Leiramrol, Imphal who spoke on breast cancer and its occurrence amongst women spoke at length on easy to undertake physical examination processes that women can undertake at home. Other resource persons taking part in the awareness function included Dr. Y Achouba, Dr. Th Bidhumukhi and Dr. Ashok.
Incidentally, cervical cancer is said to be the fifth deadliest cancer in women affecting about 16 per 100,000 women per year and killing about 9 per 100,000 per year worldwide. Statistically, nearly 73,000 women in India die from the disease, about one-quarter of the global disease figures.
Breast cancer is the most common of all cancers and is said to be the leading cause of cancer deaths in women worldwide, accounting for more than 1.6% of deaths with case fatality rates being highest in low-resource countries. A recent study of breast cancer risk in India revealed that 1 in 28 women develop breast cancer during her lifetime according to a web site of the Tata Memorial Center.
The Lions Club of Leiramrol (Imphal) is notably a community volunteer group started in 2007 and currently has a 75 members. “There are 14 Lion Clubs in Manipur that includes dual membership of both men and women with the mandate to grow into more such clubs. In 2007, we thought that women could also organize amongst themselves and take the lead. So we started with the idea of a women-centric Lion Club that would include their spouses,” says Paonam Mema, the President of the Leimarol group. The Lions Clubs International was started in 1917 in the United States of America with a strong focus on community based volunteer work. The first such club was started in Manipur in 1968 and has over the years seen the growth of over 14 clubs across the state. The members of the club contribute finances to fund its various activities ranging from free medical camps, reading programs, cleanliness drives and social interaction programs with under privileged children and senior citizens. The clubs also undertake fund raising drives to raise money from well wishers and the public. The Lions Club of Leiramrol (Imphal) will be organizing one such fund drive in the form of a fashion show on November 9 at the MFDC complex.