KOCHI: The Kerala University of Health Sciences (KUHS) in association with three premier cancer institutes in the state is set to give training to nursing students in early cancer detection so that the screening process for the disease becomes much more wide and efficient.
“The proposal is to give simulation training using plastic dummies since it is difficult to have training on live patients. We decided to enroll nurses who mainly belong to the female gender since female cancer patients outstrip male patients in the state. The major cancers affecting females are breast and cervical cancers and nurses involvement will greatly enhance detection of these cancers at an early stage,” Dr M.K.C. Nair, vice-chancellor, KUHS, told DC on Sunday. He said that training in pap smear test for cervical cancer and other such procedures will be important in this module. “Certainly lectures won’t do enough in this regard hence we thought of giving training,” he said.
The idea in this regard evolved with the involvement of Dr Babu Mathew, former head of community oncology, Regional Cancer Centre, Thiruvananthapuram, Dr P.G. Balagopal, medical superintendent, Cochin Cancer Research Centre (CCRC) and Dr M.K.C. Nair. The Malabar Cancer Centre, CCRC and RCC will be involved in training nurses in their respective regions.
Already Ernakulam Government Nursing College principal Dr Seleena has shown active interest in this. Though he has retired from RCC, Dr Babu Mathew is still actively involved in the activities of RCC. Dr Balagopal said that already the nursing programme has a good curriculum and adding training in early cancer detection will strengthen the capacity of the nursing students passing out from KUHS. The early cancer detection programme will go beyond doctors who are difficult to get for the programme also. Dr M.K.C. Nair is expected to make the state-wide inauguration of the programme at RCC soon.