This Women’s Day, experts speak about healthcare, Cancer, and the importance of timely detection.

Q1. What do you think about the scalability of the Swasth Mahila Swasth Goa project, and what are the other options through which we can scale this project further?

Ans. Mr. Lalit Mohan, President & COO of SBI Foundation: When we talk about our unique partnership with the government of Goa and the Yuvraj Singh Foundation – we have kept an ambitious target of screening more than one lakh women in North and South Goa. The scaling of this project is no doubt very necessary because gender equality is very important. According to the UN gender equality index 2019, India is ranked 123rd out of 162 countries – highlighting our ranking in the global context, which remains very low. This project addresses awareness amongst communities, to encourage women towards timely screening and detection. By providing accessible healthcare to women with healthcare, we aim to empower communities at large. This project is a very ambitious project, and we look forward to seeing how it is scaled up and amplified. We are very fortunate to be part of this project. Thank you.

Q2. Many remain shy and uncomfortable when it comes to speaking about breast cancer, and other cancers as well. What are your thoughts on this?

Ans. Dr. Pallavi Shukla, Asst. Prof. Preventive Oncology Dr. BRA-IRCH: There is a mess. There is a taboo related to all female cancers, amongst other cancers as well. I think accessibility to health information as well as health business, is a major challenge for women all across our country. A lot has to be done by every one of us, to do everything in our power to bring change. Once we start talking about these issues, people will start to feel comfortable about them. In urban spaces, having apps that remind us of our period cycles is very common – why not extend the same tech to screening reminders? I believe, we have to bring everyday accessibility and a tone of normalcy to cancer, to bring substantial change. No matter who you are, where you’re from or what your background may be – information on cancer and medical guidance should be at your disposal, always.

Q3. As a Doctor, what would you recommend to women reading this?

Ans. Dr. Pallavi Shukla, Asst. Prof. Preventive Oncology Dr. BRA-IRCH: Become aware of Breast Cancer symptoms – and let a doctor know, in case you experience any of them. New lump in the breast or underarm (armpit), thickening or swelling of part of the breast, irritation or dimpling of breast skin, redness or flaky skin in the nipple area or the breast — are amongst some of the symptoms of breast cancer to look out for. Any kind of change in the size or shape of the breast could be an indication of underlying cancer. Refer to information on WHO, and other reliable sources – for information on testing, screening and self breast examination. Early detection has been key in the battle against cancer.


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