Social Welfare & Women Empowerment Dept

Chennai, 31st October 2023 In a significant move to raise awareness about breast cancer and emphasize the importance of early detection, Apollo Proton Cancer Centres (APCC), the first and largest Proton Therapy Centre in South Asia and the Middle East, along with the Department of Social Welfare & Women Empowerment, Government of Tamil Nadu, released a Self-Breast Examination Chart and Animated Video. The unveiling of this pivotal initiative took place at Commissioner of Social Welfare office in Chennai. The awareness video and chart will be played in 2286 Primary Health Centres, 434 Child Development Project Offices, 38 District Social Welfare Offices, 38 District Project Offices and 38 Collectorate Offices and all Corporations.

The Chart was unveiled by Ms. P Geetha Jeevan, Hon’ble Minister for Social Welfare & Women Empowerment Department, Government of Tamil Nadu, along with Thiru. Shunchongam Jatak Chiru, I.A.S Principal Secretary to Govt. Social Welfare and Women Empowerment Dept., Tmt. V. Amuthavalli, I.A.S Commissioner of Social Welfare and Women Empowerment Dept, Tmt. S. P. Kaarthiga, I.A.S, Additional Director, Social Welfare and Women Empowerment Dept, Mr. Harshad Reddy, Director- Group Oncology & International, Apollo Hospitals Group, and key medical experts including, Dr. Sapna Nangia, Senior Consultant, Radiation Oncologist, Dr. Manjula Rao, Consultant Breast Oncosurgeon, Dr. Prasad E, Senior Consultant- Medical Oncologist, and Dr. Muktha Mahajan, Lead – Breast & Interventional Radiology.

The Self Breast Examination Chart and Animated Video are aimed at empowering women with the right knowledge and skills to perform regular self-breast examinations, a critical step in the early detection of breast cancer. Early detection is a key factor in enhancing the chances of successful treatment and a better survival rate. This collaborative endeavor aligns with the commitment of both Apollo Proton Cancer Centres and the Tamil Nadu Government to enhance healthcare awareness and outreach to a larger audience. The Self Breast Examination Chart will be prominently displayed in over 2800+ Government centres across Tamil Nadu, ensuring that the message reaches women across diverse regions of the State.

Sharing her thoughts on the impact of this initiative, Ms. P Geetha Jeevan, Hon’ble Minister for Social Welfare & Women Empowerment Government of Tamil Nadu, said, “Empowerment through knowledge is the key to women’s well-being. We are proud to be associated with this initiative that aims to educate women about their health, encouraging them to take charge and make informed choices. Our collaboration with Apollo Proton Cancer Centres brings an innovative way to promote health education and empower the women of Tamil Nadu in their own healthcare journey. These self-breast examination charts and videos are an essential tool to raise awareness and promote early detection of breast cancer, potentially saving countless lives across the State.”

Dr Manjula Rao, Consultant – Breast Oncoplastic Surgery, highlighted the importance of early detection, saying, “Breast cancer is associated with excellent prognosis and survival when detected early. If detected before it spreads to the regional lymph nodes, 5-year survival outcomes are as high as 99%. Self-breast examination is a simple tool that women can use, to be mindful of their breast health and catch a breast tumour early. While the majority of breast lumps are not cancerous, it is important to get them shown to a doctor who can rule them out. Painless breast lump, spontaneous nipple discharge, nipple retraction, skin redness, dimpling, non-healing ulcer, etc. are some signs and symptoms to look out for.”

Dr. Prasad E, Senior Consultant – Medical Oncology, shed light on various methods available for early detection, stating, “Numerous methods are available for the early detection of breast cancer, with the goal of treating people on time. For women aged 40 and above, digital X-rays and mammograms are imperative. When there is a strong family history of cancer, early screening with ultrasounds, mammograms, and, in some instances, MRI scans are recommended to detect early lesions. The primary focus should always be on preventing breast cancer through lifestyle adjustments, even though the latest treatments offer exceptionally high cure rates.”

Apollo Proton Cancer Centres continues to further the cause of Breast Cancer Awareness among women and their latest initiative with the Tamil Nadu Government represents a major stride towards improving women’s health and well-being in the region. Through knowledge and awareness, they are advocating early detection of breast cancer and ensuring that no woman’s health is compromised.