Srinagar: Vice-Chancellor University of Kashmir Prof Nilofer Khan Thursday inaugurated a free breast cancer awareness-cum-screening programme.
The programme was organised by the Department of Bioresources in association with Indian Cancer Society and J&K Science Technology and Innovation Council (JKSTIC) in continuation with the month-long breast cancer awareness programme held in 15 degree colleges across Kashmir Valley.
Commending the Bioresources Department and its collaborating institutions for organising the important programme, Prof Nilofer underlined the need for academic and medical institutions in the UT to collaborate in raising awareness on breast cancer which is “rising alarmingly” in the country.
She said young minds who were educated during the month-long programme about breast cancer must become ambassadors in the community to spread their learning in the society.
Saurabh Bhagat, Commissioner/Secretary JKSTIC, who was a guest of honour, said screening mechanisms are fewer in rural areas compared to urban belts and it is therefore important to step up awareness campaigns to save people from falling victims to breast cancer.
VC Central University of Kashmir Prof Farooq A Shah, also a guest of honour, said breast cancer is coming up as a “health crisis” with an ever-increasing number of cases.
Director SKIMS Prof Pervez Koul, a special guest at the inaugural session, said that Breast Self Examination (BSE) clinics have to come up in “every home” so that vulnerable people are able to detect any abnormality on their own to reduce the risk of catching up with breast cancers.
He said while genetic factors cannot be avoided, appropriate interventions related to environmental and other factors can be made to reduce the breast cancer risk.
Head Department of Bioresources Dr Manzoor A Mir said the department aims to link its research on cancer with the society and the current month-long programme is a step in that direction. He also called for linking academic and medical institutions and developing a comprehensive strategy on raising awareness on breast cancer.
On the occasion, Prof Nilofer and other dignitaries released a dedicated web-portal of the Bioresources Department on breast cancers, carrying all related academic and research information. A book authored by Dr Manzoor titled ‘Combinational Therapy in Triple Negative Breast Cancer’ was also released.
Registrar Dr Nisar A Mir gave the concluding remarks at the inaugural session, which was attended by senior academicians including Prof Irshad A Nawchoo, Dean Research KU and Prof Naseer Iqbal, Registrar IUST.
A team of 10 medicos coordinated by Dr Natasha Thakur (SKIMS), Dr Sheikh Zahoor (SKIMS) and Dr Shameema (GMC Srinagar) conducted the screening camp. KU Health Centre provided support to the programme.