Hyderabad: In March, the State government had entered into an agreement with Tata Memorial
Trust to manage the network of cancer centres in Telangana State. While the MOU attracted a lot of attention due to the involvement of Tata Trust, another vital development that happened was that for the first time the health authorities came up with an exhaustive healthcare system or a structure aimed at providing cancer services to patients from the ground up in Telangana State.
Early identification and treatment of cancers has always remained a public health challenge for
a long time not only for the two Telugu-speaking States but also for the entire country. Except for the MNJ Cancer Institute, there are not many State-run health institutions in Telangana State that are solely dedicated to cancer detection and treatment at the primary and secondary level.
As a result, by the time tertiary facilities like MNJ Cancer Hospital receives patients, the cancer might have already run its course and in the process taken its toll on the patient. There was a dire need for a structured approach to treat cancers in Telangana State and authorities for the first time have responded to this crisis by deciding to set-up a three-layered system for treating cancers.
According to the new cancer treatment framework, the MNJ Cancer Hospital and Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS) have been identified as State Cancer Institutes (SCI) followed by Comprehensive Cancer Centres (CCC) attached to Government Medical Colleges and diagnostics and day care clinics located near District Hospitals.
The concept is to diagnose the cancer cases at the earliest and depending on the condition or extent of the spread of the ailment, start the process of treatment at either Tertiary Cancer Centres or State Cancer Institutes at MNJ Cancer Institute and NIMS.
Enough stress was also given on developing adequate talented human resources needed to treat cancer patients. The MNJ Cancer Hospital and NIMS, apart from providing high-end treatment to patients, will also have to focus on research, academics and training, which are vital for the advancement of cancer research.