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Assam to have a unique 3-level cancer care grid

Dispur and Tata Trusts begin collaboration, to share Rs 1,400 crore investment

GUWAHATI, Oct 12: In what can be termed as a major initiative to boost cancer care in Assam, Dispur and internationally acclaimed Tata Trusts have started collaborating to set up a unique 3-level cancer care grid in the State.
The proposed cancer care grid will be set up with an estimated investment of Rs 1,400 crore to be shared between Tata Trusts and Assam government.State Health & Family Welfare Minister Dr Himanta Bishwa Sarma who on Thursday met Chairman of Tata Trusts Ratan Tata and other members for the purpose in Mumbai, later tweeted that he is elated to inform the people of Assam about the start of a philanthropic initiative by Tata Trusts.
“In what may become a rare philanthropy- government collaboration on cancer care and management, the Government of Assam and Tata Trusts are working on setting up a unique, first-of-its-kind, 3-level cancer care grid in the State Capital and district levels which is likely to have an investment of Rs1400 crore proposed to be shared between Tata Trusts and the State,” Sarma wrote in his Twitter account.
“This shall also leverage various States and Central Government schemes. A South Asian Cancer Research Centre is also proposed to be set up to undertake research on identifying reasons and develop treatment protocols with a focus on South Asia,” the Health Minister further tweeted.
Under the grid system, L1 or State level cancer care institutes in Guwahati will have advanced, tertiary care facilities, L2 or medical colleges will have chemotherapy, radiation and surgical oncology and L3 or district hospitals will have day care, chemotherapy and radiation facilities.
The development has come at a time with the incidence of cancer rising alarmingly in Assam. Nearly 1 lakh cancer patients have been detected in the State during the last 6 years. Cancer has also been raising its heads in other NE States.
A new report published by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), under its National Cancer Registry Programme (NCRP), last year recorded Aizawl in Mizoram and Papumpare in Arunachal Pradesh as districts with the highest age adjusted cancer incidence rate in the country.
The report also states that Kamrup (Metro) district has the fourth highest cancer incidence rate among men in the country with 206 affected in a population of 1,00,000. The rate is the same among women in the district and was found to be third highest in the country. The district has also recorded the highest cases of gall bladder cancer in both men and women in the country. Assam ranks third in the number of cases of oesophagal cancer in women.