World Cancer Day on February 4
Jamshedpur, Feb 3: Cancer is a dreaded diagnosis. For most patients, it sounds a death verdict. Not any longer. For the past decade, the medical fraternity has made immense strides in its management and definitive cure is possible in most cancers, if detected and treated early.
For a long time, a void had existed in Jamshedpur for the comprehensive management of cancer. Most patients had to travel to metros to seek treatment of the disease, which was not just inconvenient, but also expensive and drained their resources.
MTMH, a cancer hospital at Jamshedpur was established in 1975 to cater to cancer patients. Over the years, the rising number of cancer patients and advancement in cancer care threw up the need for expansion and upgradation of the hospital. In 2017, Tata Trusts approved a project to upgrade MTMH from a 72- bedded cancer hospital to a comprehensive 128 bedded cancer care facility.
The foundation laying ceremony for this project was done on 2nd March 2018 by Ratan Tata. Over a period of one year, a new extension building came up in the TMH campus, connected to MTMH by a skybridge. The two buildings together house comprehensive cancer care facility, including a multi-consultant OPD, Medical Oncology, Neutropenia and Radiotherapy wards, Day Care chemotherapy ward and Pritpal Palliative Care Centre (funded by Suri Foundation). The number of beds increased from 72 to 128, with 40 beds dedicated to Day Care Chemotherapy, a long- standing patient need of short hospital stay.
In addition, a state -of-art True Beam radiotherapy machine considerably enhanced the ability of the centre to treat patients with the most advanced and precise radiation therapy. The brachytherapy equipment, used to deliver intra-cavitary radiation was also replaced.
A PET-CT machine was installed. This is the first of its kind in Jharkhand and is an important diagnostic arm which allows early cancer detection and recurrence.
Pathology was upgraded, with immunohistochemistry and PCR for a precise diagnosis. A new Hospital Management System (HMS) serves as the IT backbone of the services.
Another first for Jharkhand happened when the Pritpal Palliative Care unit funded by Suri Sewa Foundation was inaugurated on 15 February 2020, by Ruchi Narendran. The state of art 8- bedded Palliative Care unit has a specialised team of doctors, nurses and medical social worker. It addresses the special needs of patients requiring palliative care. Managing symptoms, helping the families to know how to take care of the loved ones at home, being with the families during the journey of the disease is part of services provided at Pritpal Palliative Care Unit. It is a recognised centre for Certificate Course in Essentials of Palliative Care by Indian Association of Palliative Care.
The new set-up at MTMH caters to Ayushman Bharat patients and to various government aid patients as well as to corporate and general patients. The effect of modernization is reflected in the increasing number of patients benefitting at Jamshedpur. In spite of the pandemic, around 26,000 patients attended the MTMH OPD in 2021, of whom around 3000 were newly detected cancer patients. There were 10,000 admissions. Radiotherapy was administered to around 1100 patients and 1900 patients underwent PET CT. MTMH kept its doors opened right through the pandemic so that cancer treatment would not suffer.
Through its service, MTMH hopes to fulfil the goal set by Ratan Tata for cancer care: no cancer patient should be forced to travel out of his state to seek treatment for cancer.