Gurugram: More than 1,200 people from different walks of life gathered to witness a three-day long ‘Pink Purple Run’ and a walkathon here on Saturday to encourage a group of 10 runners called ‘Maston Ka Jhund’. The programme was organised to send out a strong message on prevention and treatment of cancer in women.
The 210-km Pink Purple Run was launched from Fortis Memorial Research Institute (FMRI) in the city and will travel through Neemrana, Shahpura to reach Jaipur.
During the run, the runners along with a Fortis team will be spreading awareness about the spread of breast and cervical cancer in villages. Special health talks would also be organised in villages the runners will cross during their journey to convey the importance of early screening and diagnosis.
Dr Ashu Abhishek, senior consultant, radiation oncology, FMRI, started the run along with nine runners to Jaipur.
Dr Rama Joshi, director and head of the department, gynecology oncology, FMRI, pointed out that in India, every year, approximately 1,60,000 women are diagnosed with gynecological cancers and the most widespread cancer is cervical cancer.
There are other types of gynecological cancers too, such as ovarian, uterine, vulvar or vaginal cancer. Population cancer registries are showing a rising trend of uterine and ovarian cancers in our country.
“Unfortunately,” Dr Rama Joshi said, “most of the cancer deaths that occur in the country are avoidable. These casualties owe it to lack of awareness about symptoms. Hence, there is a need for mass screening.”
In this context, she said the walkathon was an effort to spread awareness with a theme – Be aware, Prevent and Cure.
“Cancer is curable if diagnosed at an early stage and optimally managed. Awareness and timely screening play a key role in prevention and early diagnosis. Through this run, our team of doctors will spread a message about early screening and diagnosis to women in different cities and villages with an aim to make India free from cervical cancer,” she said.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women. According to a study by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the age-standardised rate of breast cancer is approximately 25.8 per one lakh women and is expected to rise to 35 per one lakh women by 2026. In India, it's affecting younger population as compared to the West.
Common symptoms of the disease are painless lump, skin thickening, nipple discharge or ulceration, lump in the axilla. Early detection is the best protection as it is curable in early stages. A significant number of women detect breast cancer themselves by monthly breast self-examination (BSE). Practising BSE regularly will help prevent the disease.
A proper treatment involving multimodality approach at a dedicated and comprehensive cancer center will help cure the disease. Timely marriage, timely pregnancy and adequate breast feeding have protective effect. Maintain a healthy weight with regular exercise, balanced diet, avoiding alcohol and smoking will also prevent the disease.
Talking about expectation on his marathon run from Gurugram to Jaipur, Dr Ashu Abhishek, a participant, said, “Our run from Gurugram to Jaipur is a manifestation of our commitment to living healthier and being stronger. The incidence of cancer has risen dramatically in recent times.”
The biggest problem in India, he said was that patients visit hospitals when they reach stage three or four where timely and complete cure is a challenge and many a times impossible. If the cancer is detected early, there is always a chance of complete remission and cure.