MMU with mammography machine, by Tata Trusts at SVICCAR in Tirupati

Tirupat: Tata Trusts today announced the launch of a ‘Mobile Medical Unit (MMU)’ at Sri Venkateswara Institute of Cancer Care & Advanced Research (SVICCAR), Tirupati, through its Special Purpose Vehicle: Alamelu Charitable Foundation (ACF). The MMU will offer free of cost screening for Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs), hypertension, diabetes and oral, breast and cervical cancers, along with general health check-ups, to people living in Tirupati, Chittoor, and adjoining remote areas.

Specially designed to meet the needs of communities residing in remote areas, the MMU is equipped with a mammography machine which will be deployed for high risk individuals, upon clinical breast examination. The screening tests will be performed as per the National Programme for Prevention of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases and Stroke (NPCDCS) guidelines. The beneficiaries in the age group of 30 to 65 years will also be offered health advisory services on lifestyle, nutrition, and various health related topics. Managed by a team, comprising trained medical and technical professionals, the MMU has already conducted a camp at Chandragiri.

Speaking at the launch of the MMU, Dr. Sanjiv Chopra, Chief Executive, Cancer Care Programme of Tata Trusts, said, “Breast cancer is on the rise in our country and most cases are reported when the disease has already advanced, i.e. in stage III or IV. Hence, it is essential to focus on screening procedures and early detection of the breast cancer. Mammography, as a screening modality, is considered the international gold standard for detecting breast cancer early, especially in high risk groups. Mammograms can usually find suspicious lesions much before a woman or her primary care provider can feel them. Research has shown a 25 percent reduction in deaths from breast cancer among women who get screened regularly.”

“The Unit is an important step in curtailing common cancers like breast, cervical, oral and the NCD disease burden of the state. It will also enable in identifying seemingly healthy individuals suffering from NCDs who may otherwise be unaware of their condition. The Mobile Medical Unit (MMU) has clearly defined safe and comfortable sections, which will provide a people-friendly experience motivating beneficiaries to get themselves screened, thereby increasing access for early detection of NCDs, especially breast cancer,” said Dr. Nageswara Reddy, Medical Oncologist, SVICCAR.

Following an MoU signed with The Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) in 2017, Tata Trusts had set up Alamelu Charitable Foundation (ACF), for implementing its Cancer Care Initiative to ensure affordable, accessible and high quality treatment and screening for cancer detection. ACF is developing SVICCAR to provide comprehensive and affordable cancer care closer to the patients’ homes in Andhra Pradesh. While a large state of the art centre is under development, a day care chemotherapy centre has been set-up to serve the under-privileged population of Chittoor and surrounding districts. Public health services have also been initiated. The fully developed facility will be equipped with modern technological systems, integrated care through support services, like reconstructive support and palliative care.

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