KOCHI: The Kochi Corporation wants to relocate the Early Cancer Detection Centre at Kaloor in the city into an extension centre of the Kochi Cancer Research Centre (KCRC), but Hibi Eden MLA says any such attempt would not be allowed. Mayor Soumini Jain told DC on Monday that such a facility should be adjunct to a hospital to benefit patients. “If it is attached to the General Hospital or any other hospital, then patients who are diagnosed with cancer can be treated. But we have not taken any decision,” said Ms Soumini Jain.
“It was because the building was dilapidated that during the previous Corporation Council’s term, discussions were held about shifting it. A suggestion to shift it and construct a commercial complex there may have come from the ward sabhas during the previous tenure. During the early stage of the Kochi Metro Rail, there were talks of the land being acquired for the project. But it was shelved to construct a toilet complex. In any case I believe a stand-alone place for the detection centre may not serve the purpose,” said Ms Jain.
The Kochi Mayor also added that for the same reasons she was not in favour of a city extension centre to the KCRC coming up at the spot. “Such a facility should be close to a hospital,” she added. Hibi Eden MLA said that during his previous tenure as MLA of Ernakulam constituency, he held talks with the Regional Cancer Centre to allocate Rs 1 crore from his asset development fund to renovate it.
“But I did not get the required support. Even now I am ready to spend money for the centre on which many poor patients depend. Detection is important in cancers and not everyone can go to medical colleges and KCRC when the General Hospital cancer care facility exists. So there is relevance for the early detection centre and I won’t allow the shift. If the Corporation wants to build a commercial complex, it can do it at the nearby bus-stand,” Mr Hibi Eden said.
Chemotherapy starts at KCRC
The Kochi Cancer Research Centre outpatient wing crossed a milestone in its short span of existence on Monday when chemotherapy was performed on a patient for the first time. The patient was earlier operated at the Ernakulam Government Medical College. Chemotherapy was performed on a 78-year-old woman, a native of Aluva, who has ovarian cancer. Dr Neetha Sreedharan, who is the gynec oncology surgeon at the KCRC, had done the surgery nearly a month ago when she was at EMC, said an official at KCRC. Under the supervision of her and Radiation oncologist Dr Ushasree Warrieer, chemotherapy was started on the patient on Monday.
Dr Neetha joined KCRC on deputation from EMC after the launch of the OP a month ago. This also marks the beginning of a crucial phase in the co-operation between KCRC and EMC. “There should come a phase where the two institutions co-operate seamlessly so that patients start benefitting from now itself,” said Dr N K Sanil Kumar, member of the Justice V R Krishna Iyer Movement which spearheaded the campaign to set up the cancer centre. A doctor who preferred not to be named at KCRC said that it is still not clear whether surgeries of KCRC patients can be done at EMC. “We understand that a special order from the government is needed for that. Only when such a situation comes, we will be able to make full benefit of the facilities around,” he said.