From curative to awareness and early detection programmes for cancer
A pioneering move in medical history was made when Tata Trusts translated its philanthropic sentiments into reality through the creation of Tata Memorial Hospital in 1941. This was the first of many such path-breaking endeavors by the Trusts in the field of cancer care. Education and research in oncology to improve treatment modalities are areas that both hospitals have been engaged in, as well as models to improve access to affordable methods for treatment.
Increasingly, the Trusts have recognized the need to shift focus from curative to awareness and early detection programmes, in order to detect the disease as early as possible and lessen the ensuing morbidity and mortality caused by the disease. As a result, the Trusts have embarked upon several initiatives, from implementing the National Cancer Grid — a network of 108 cancer hospitals in India — along with Tata Memorial Hospital to conducting a proof-of-concept in cross-subsidized screening programmes for certain types of cancers. The purpose of all initiatives, including exploring the possibilities of genetic tests revolutionizing the approach to cancer screening and diagnostics, is to ensure greater awareness about and accessibility to cancer screening, diagnosis and treatment.