The International Network for Cancer Treatment and Research, India (INCTR India) in collaboration with Biyani Girls Nursing College, Rajasthan; has initiated a pilot project for Cancer Awareness with emphasis on the early detection of oral, breast and cervical cancer in selected villages in the district of Jaipur, Rajasthan.
The Primary Health Centers (PHCs) work for the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare Govt. of Rajasthan and also co-operated with INCTR during project implementation.
Pilot projects were initiated in March 2018 after final year female students had received training at the SMS Govt. Hospital for Early Detection of the three cancers.
After completing their training, the students, in teams of 2, visited houses in the project area and examined women/girls for the presence of symptoms that could be due to one of the three cancers.
They were also asked about other symptoms relating to their general health.
In one day 2 students were able to visit about 10 houses and examine 40 to 50 women.
Those with symptoms were directed to a PHC for further examination and treatment.
The students provided information on cancer awareness during their household visits and also took part in meetings, mass rallies and "camps" to ensure that the public is aware that tobacco can cause oral and other cancers.
Several Women’s Self Help Groups who had indicated a keen interest in the project also participated.
Similar projects are being initiated with other Nursing Colleges located in the rural regions of Rajasthan where the majority of people are extremely poor.
The overall goal of the project is to encourage more nurses to take an active role in the early detection of these cancers and to implement cervical cancer screening as soon as they have been trained to perform testing suitable for Rajasthan.
Data from these early pilot projects will be used to explore approaches to constantly increasing the number of young women who have received training in the symptoms experienced by these cancers and where to go to be examined if symptoms consistent with them should arise.