University students in India encouraged to play role in cancer prevention

RTI International, Wellcome Trust-DBT India Alliance, Public Health Foundation of India led discussion with Miranda House studen

NEW DELHI— To bridge the gap between youth and their access to key health information on cancer, RTI International, Wellcome Trust-DBT India Alliance and Public Health Foundation of India, hosted an informative session today on Cancer Prevention "Voices for Cancer: Your Role In Prevention" at Miranda House,a college for women at the University of Delhi.

The session, which included several cancer survivors, focused on how awareness and early detection can reduce the burden of cancer. Students were urged to make a personal commitment to their own health and to share the message of cancer prevention with their extended families and friends. 

Key spokespersons at the session included Suneeta Krishnan, Ph.D., India Country Director for RTI, Dr. Kanchun Kaur, Medanta Medicity; Dr. Preet Dhillon, Public Health Foundation of India; Dinesh Sharma, journalist; Priti Sayeed, mother of cancer survivor; Rita Bhalla, Indian Cancer Society; Ritu Bhalla, CanKids; and Chandan Kumar, CanKids.  

Key messages delivered to students included the need to share accurate information about cancer through multiple channels to reduce fear and stigma and to encourage early screening and timely care seeking.

While addressing the university students, Krishnan said, "Our research has found that young people play an important role in encouraging their mothers to seek medical advice for breast cancer symptoms. Their support is vital for their mothers to pursue treatment and recover from cancer." 

Dr. Shahid Jameel, chief executive officer of Wellcome Trust-DBT India Alliance, concluded the session by calling students to action, stating that any individual can be the change agent towards a healthier tomorrow, for themselves and for their parents and grandparents.