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Diagnosis On The Move

Times of India
23 October 2010
By Pratibha Masand
Mumbai, India

Mobile van for breast cancer
The Indian Cancer Society (ICS) launched Hope Express–a mobile cancer detection van, which will go around Maharashtra to detect breast cancer. ICS claims that it is the first mobile van in India to have a software attached to a mammogram.

Mobile cancer detection vans have been around for over a decade. Hope Express will be operated by women. "Women technicians and gynaecologists travel in the van and not only diagnose breast cancer, but also spread awareness on the disease. This is a van by the women for women," said Dr Arun Kurkure, secretary of ICS.

The van, which is going to start its rounds early next week, has a compartment with a mammogram, two small changing rooms, seating space for eight people with a TV, and a pantry car. "The mammogram, which detects a cancer in the breast with the help of soft X–rays, has been connected to a software system, with the help of which, the X–ray of the breast can be immediately transferred to a computer and sent to an expert," said a woman technician.

While breast cancer is considered to be a problem more prominent with the urban women, the mobile van will cover urban as well as rural areas. "The van will go around in the city first. We are going to organize visits in communities, societies, factories and offices. For very poor patients, the testing will be free of cost, while for others, it will cost Rs 500," said Dr Kurkure, adding that in a private setup, it costs Rs 1,500.

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