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Cancer Related Chat Transcripts

Sunil Dutt on Cancer Related Issues
Dr. S. H. Advani on Cancer & Cures
Y. K. Sapru on Cancer Prevention



Sunil Dutt on Cancer Related Issues

In a chat held on Friday, September 29th, Sunil Dutt, MP shared his feelings about his wife, Nargisís illness and the birth of the Nargis Dutt Foundation; cancer treatment in India and his contributions to it; the rural cancer centre he is actively involved with and the mobile dispensary he has recently started.

The chat was held at the Khar Gymkhana Cyber café. Among those present were well-known film producers, Mr. Subodh Mukherjee and Mr. Subhash Mukherjee, Chairman of CPAA, Mr. Y. K. Sapru, Ms. Gitanjali Chatterjee, Head of CPAAís Patient Care Department and Dr. Shubha Maudgal, Director, New Projects.

CPAA: All of us at Cancer Patients Aid Association are very grateful to Mr. Sunil Dutt for making the time to host this celebrity chat show on our website This programme is part of our regular chats, three of which are hosted every day from 1-2, 3-4 and 5-6 by doctors, cancer survivors, counselors and CPAA representatives. Mr. Dutt contribution to the improvement of cancer treatment in India cannot be overemphasized. He has financed the first fully air-conditioned ICU at Tata Memorial Hospital, the "Nargis Dutt Intensive Care Unit" and has recently started a Rural Cancer Centre at Barshi in Sholapur district. I now invite you to ask Mr. Dutt your questions.

Cherry: Dear Mr. Dutt, please tell us about what you feel regarding treatment facilities available in Bombay, since you were closely in touch with them, are they good? Or is there requirement to go abroad for treatment?

Sunil Dutt: We have the best surgeons, doctors and oncologists but we must improve our ICUs and postoperative care. Secondly, there should be tremendous awareness programmes about cancer. Thirdly, our women above the age of 30 must have half yearly or at least yearly check ups. Lastly, with our country's population reaching a billion, our hospitals are overloaded therefore you cannot blame them. In the years to come two deadly diseases will be left, cancer and heart disease. Municipal hospitals must start treatment for these. Lastly I would like to add that all the hospitals in our country must feel that more than 80% of our population cannot afford expensive medication and special care. Attention must be given to that side and how best all the hospitals can help the common man in our country. The only alternative is to be on the alert. Unfortunately we only go to hospitals when it is too late. People are uneducated. Health care must be taught from school days.

I really appreciate some of the social organisations in our country especially Cancer Patients Aid Association started by Sapru Sahab and Rekhaji. They are doing a great service to the sick people who suffer from cancer.

Anu: Please tell us about your rural cancer project, and in what way can we support you?

Sunil Dutt: Dr. Nene and Mr. Chauhan started a rural centre at Barshi near Sholapur. They contacted me regarding the project. At that time I was working for the ICU at Tata Memorial Hospital. Tata and I helped them to set up the centre. Today there is a full fledged hospital and diagnostic centre. Tata has given them a bus with medical equipment. They cover rural area around Barshi. Recently, the World Health Organisation in their assessment declared the Barshi centre the best of its kind in rural area. The Bill Gates Foundation have given 5 million dollars to the centre for check up of women in the age group of 28 years and up for uterus and breast cancer.

Anu: I want to be a volunteer for the same.

Sunil Dutt: Please write to Dr. Nene, Nargis Dutt Cancer Hospital, Barshi, Distt Sholapur.

Anu: Have u detected early cancer cases in Barshi with this set up?

Sunil Dutt: Yes, many cases. Because of the large number of detections made, the WHO has given the superior rating I had mentioned.

Shubha: Why did you decide to open a centre at Sholapur?

Sunil Dutt: Dr. Nene studied in London. When he came back to India, he could have set up his practice in Mumbai, but he preferred to go back to his native town. He started arranging medical camps in two rooms at his father's farmhouse. He invited doctors from Tata. His involvement and dedication is what rural India needs and this inspired all of us to help him.

Cherry: One last question sir, you have been through hard times with respect to cancer and various other issues. What motivated u to go on and not give up? Did u not lose hope, faith?

Sunil Dutt: Whatever calamities happened in my family, I started to look beyond my immediate family. There is a great amount of pain, facilities are not available, financial arrangements are difficult. Through our own pain, we decided to share with other people. I am happy that there are so many social organisations coming forward now. It is a good feeling that there are people in our country who want to share the pain of others and do for others whatever they can.

My wife was undergoing treatment in the US. She had 5 operations and had spent months in the Intensive Care Unit. At that time, when she was suffering so much pain, she told me I had done wrong in taking her to the US. She said she had become what she was, a successful star, because of the Indian public and yet they did not have the facilities she had been given when they were suffering. At that time I decided to do something for the cause of cancer treatment in India.

Actually after the death of my wife, I made a film, "Dard Ka Rishta". Most films portraying cancer show the end as being death, but I wanted to show that by early detection we can save the person.

Mrunal: Nowadays many well-known personalities are advertising tobacco products. What is your opinion on this?

Sunil Dutt: You are the fans of the stars and you should force them to change. But I have never posed for cigarettes or liquor. I started my career with an ad agency. When I became a star, people from the agencies asked me to pose with cigarette but I never did. This way of earning money never attracted me.

Alka: How do u manage to collect funds on a regular basis for your centers to keep functioning? Is there a regular grant? or corpus?

Sunil Dutt: The non-resident Indians in America contacted me some time ago. They wanted to do something for cancer patients in India but were not convinced about how the funds would be used. They started a charitable organisation in US and started raising funds. I told them to send medical equipment, which is not available in India. I must say that the non-resident Indian has a great feeling for India. The foundation started in New York and spread all over- to Canada and Germany. They have sent equipment to different charitable cancer related hospitals, worth 3 million dollars so far. They named the foundation after my wife because they felt she suffered a lot there during her treatment for cancer. It is called the Nargis Dutt Foundation.

Anu: What is your message for todayís youngsters?

Sunil Dutt: I have great hope from the new generation as our elders had of us. We have set some examples to give inspiration to the younger generation. The best advice is to be a good human being. Love every religion and every cast so that there is less violence in the country.

SUN: Do you believe in miracles? Many cancer patients claim to have been cured by some mysterious touch.

Sunil Dutt: India is full of miracles. I believe in the theory of miracles. But I must say, do not wait for miracles.

Minu: Where can we avail the facility of your mobile hospital?

Sunil Dutt: The mobile hospital is available on telephone 6004583 and 6044414. You can ask for Arjun or Mr. Joshi. We will then inform you about the whereabouts. We were waiting for the end of the rains

Minu: What types of facilities are available in your mobile hospital?

Sunil Dutt: It has a mini operation theatre, facilities for child delivery, X-ray machines, blood testing, HIV virus testing. Cardiac testing, eye testing dental check up is also available and there is a lab for developing X rays. It is totally air-conditioned. We also have a TV on which we can show films on health care. Rates for all these tests and check ups are different from outside. We charge for just the raw materials actually used. The running of the hospitals is costing us about a lakh of rupees and BSES has come forward to sponsor the facility.

Cherry: Sir we know that you have been a motivating force for all of us to see you battling over and over in life and coping. We all salute you for that.

Sunil Dutt: Through this chat line, I wish to thank everybody. It is you who inspire me to do what I do.


Dr. S. H. Advani on Cancer & Cures

Transcript of LIVE chat conducted on Thu Jan 06, 2000

Chief of Medicine at Oncology, Tata Memorial, Bombay

MODERATOR: Hello Room we are going to chat with Dr. Advani...chief of Oncology at the Tata Memorial here in Bombay.... about cancer, research, cure and prevention....

jan2000: Doctor, how long have you been practicing in this field and how have you seen the treatment approach improve the years...???

Dr. Advani: I've been in this oncology practice for last 25 yrs and I've seen tremendous revolution in the treatment of cancer. There were many cancers, which were incurable 25 yrs ago viz. Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, which has become a curable condition today with the help of various drugs available. Today we are treating cancer not only with the drugs but also with the radiotherapy and surgery in combination to see the change in outlook in cancer.

jan2000: how do you think education about cancer helps improve patient and families response to treatment??

Dr. Advani: Education and knowledge by itself can really improve the outlook of patients and their family towards this disease. Many people have false belief that cancer is incurable. Infact, the cancer is one of the most treatable condition. The knowledge of not only the treatment but also of preventive measures will help us to prevent the disease particularly, the education of young generation regarding the hazards of smoking and chewing pan tobacco will help us to reduce the incidence of cancer.

Sammy: Dr Advani...can chewing pan masala pose a serious cancer threat for throat and the tongue?

Dr. Advani: Definitely, tobacco is one of the major cause of Cancer of the tongue and the mouth as well as throat. Particularly, in our country where large number of people are chewing tobacco. The incidence of mouth cancer is very high. If we can reduce the incidence of tobacco chewing we can certainly reduce the incidence of cancer.

shila: WHAT IS THE BEST TREATMENT FOR CANCER? And how do you determine this?

Dr. Advani: Cancer is not a single disease. Different type of the cancer are treated in different ways. Some require surgery while others may require surgery as well as radio therapy and chemotherapy, depending upon the type of cancer combine treatment is organized.

Chachu: Dr. What kind of cancers are curable? Tell me little more about skin cancer.

Dr. Advani: There are many cancers which are curable particularly if the patients comes early infact, with the early diagnosis, breast cancer, cervical cancer, lung cancer and mouth cancers are curable. Childhood cancers are curable to a tune of almost 70 - 90%. Acute Lymphoblastic leukemia (Blood Cancer) is also today curable with proper chemotherapy. Skin cancer is the most curable cancer. Usually it requires only a small surgery. It is not very common disease in India.


Dr. Advani: Mouth Ulcers if they persist for long time should be investigated and the cancer should be ruled out.

jan2000: which cancers are more widespread in India than in other countries??

Dr. Advani: In India the commonest cancer is the cancer occurring in the region of head and neck. Basically, related to the tobacco chewing. Also, the lung cancer is becoming very prominent because of the smoking habits. In females the carcinoma of cervix and breast cancer are the commonest cancer.

jan2000: are women in India more prone to breast cancer?? if not do you think it is due to the lifestyle issue??

Dr. Advani: Infact, the life style does affect the incidence of breast cancer. Females with few children / un-married ladies have higher incidence of breast cancer. Late marriage is also one of the cause of breast cancer. In urban areas where the females are getting married late and having few children the incidence of breast cancer is definitely on rise. Infact, the breast cancer has the highest incidence in the USA and European countries. Also, the Parsees in India have highest incidence of breast cancer.

Thyroid: how has the field of chemotherapy evolved over the years?? and what patient care does India provide post therapy??

Dr. Advani: The field of chemotherapy has expanded tremendously in last 20 yrs. Basically, because of more and more effective drugs are available. With the newer drugs the effect is definitely better as well as the side effects are much less. The patients are advised with respect to the side effects and also all the preventive measures are taken so that the side effects are minimized.

thyroid: does Tata's have a counseling center for the families of the ailing patients??

Dr. Advani: Of course, at Tata Memorial Hospital we have counseling centers we also have many voluntary organization including CPAA (Cancer Patients Aid Association) as well as V Care volunteers doing a tremendous job in helping the patients to tide over the stress of the treatment.

thyroid: which are the other major cancer treatment centers in India???

Dr. Advani: All over India we have 10 major centers called Regional Cancer Centers. This includes Rotary Cancer Centre at Delhi, Adyar Cancer Centre at Madras, Regional Cancer Centre at Trivandrum and other cancer centers at Cuttuck, Calcutta, Ahmedabad, Bangalore and Vishakhapatnam.

jan2000: what are the symptoms of all cancers have similar symptoms??

Dr. Advani: Different Cancers have different symptoms for e.g. Mouth cancer usually present as ulcer while the cancer of oesophagus gives rise to difficulty in swallowing. Breast cancer presents as a lump in the breast. The irregular bleeding in females can indicate the cancer or cervix. Bleeding from the rectum can be because of the cancer of Intestine. Whenever, there is a doubt the person must contact the physicians to rule out the possibility of cancer.

the ruler: Dr. Advani what are the chances of having a high WBC count in excess of the normal and the problem not becoming malignant

Dr. Advani: The excess of the WBC count could be because of the infection or because of the blood cancer. One should really rule out the possibility of infection and then only consider the chance of blood cancer.

lily: Sir! do you think that everybody can acquire cancer.....I mean normal people also??

Dr. Advani: Of course, cancer can affect any one of us. In fact, we do not know the exact cause of the cancer. As the life expectancy increases the chances of cancer also increases. Also, our food habits, our environmental factors including pollution and our life style can affect the frequency of cancer. So we have to always be careful and try and see if we can diagnose the cancer early.

Aspi: With the increasing use of Pan masala in spite of health warnings, what are the other methods to avoid the dreaded disease of mouth cancer rather than cure it ?

Dr. Advani: I think the most important factor in prevention of cancer is to avoid smoking and pollution particularly, to prevent the lung cancer. In females the cervical cancer can be prevented by proper genital hygiene. The vegetarian food containing lot of fibers helps to reduce the incidence of cancer of intestine.

rover: Dr. what is chemotherapy

Dr. Advani: hemotherapy is nothing but the drugs which kills the tumor cells. Of course, they also kill the normal cells to some extent. But, the chemotherapy helps to control many types of cancers.

lily: Sir1 is cancer hereditary or because of the oncogeans??

Dr. Advani: Broadly cancer is not hereditary. However, 2% of cancers can be inherited because of the defect in the genes called suppresser genes.

MARRIED AND NAUGHTY: Dr. Advani it seems that there is also a thinking now that the aggressive way of treatment might actually not be all that beneficial and many a times body itself heals cancer

Dr. Advani: Usually in the cancer treatment the optimum treatment is given to the patients obviously over treatment may not be helpful. Now a days we are also using biological therapies which helps our body to fight the cancer cells. Healing on its own is absolutely rare.

the ruler: with the RTO fighting the cabbies for the pollution prob, why isnít the Cancer Society adding support and joining the fight?

Dr. Advani: I think the judgement of the court is based on the medical advice that, the pollution is responsible for many diseases including the cancer. Prevention of pollution is the major way of reducing the lung cancer particularly in the cities. Cancer societies are doing their best to prevent the pollution as well as educating the public regarding the bad effects of smoking and tobacco chewing.

the ruler: Does alternative medicine work with cancers?

Dr. Advani: The Alternative medicine have not really gathered the information on the effect of the treatment in a scientific way. It is very essential that the evidence for their effectiveness be collected and then we can use the evidence to suggest whether alternative medicines is effective or not. Already, lot of work is going on, on various herbal drugs to judge their effectiveness.

the ruler: adding to my earlier question, if WBC counts have been higher than normal for a long time, with a fluctuation in the count what is the possibility of turning malignant?

Dr. Advani: It is very essential to find our the cause of the high WBC count. This can be done by investigating and doing bone marrow biopsy's then only one can predict whether the high WBC count will turn into malignant disorder.

aarti: are all types of cancer genetic to a certain extent

Dr. Advani: Not really. Inherited cancers are extremely rare. However, the cancer cells do show lot of mutation in the genes controlling the cell division. Thatís the reason why the cancer cells are not under regulatory control.

nura: To what percentage is cancer of the skin curable

Dr. Advani: Cancer of Skin is 100% curable.

aarti: are there chances of uterine cervix erosions developing in to cancer

Dr. Advani: If the Cervix erosion persists for long period of time it can definitely develop into cancer over a period of 5 - 10 yrs. However, this can be picked up very early by the PAP smear test, which is usually recommended for all ladies above their age of 35yrs.

thyroid: what are the side effects of chemotherapy??

Dr. Advani: Chemotherapy kills the tumor cells but also kills the normal cells. Therefore, side effects including loss of hair, mouth sores, loose motions, low WBC count and pre-disposition to infection are the common side effect.

aarti: are all types of cancers curable

Dr. Advani: Majority of the cancers if they are diagnosed in the stage 1 are curable. There are cancers like Hodgkin disease and lymphomas, which are curable, even in the stage 3 and 4. Early diagnosis is the best way to get rid of the cancer.

the ruler: is a high WBC count genetic in nature

Dr. Advani: Very unlikely.

aarti: is it true that life expectancy of breast cancer patients even after operation is reduced to 5 or ten years

Dr. Advani: Not at all. A patient with the breast cancer can live a normal life if the diagnosis is made in early stage and patient receives proper treatment. With the regular mammography the breast cancer is being diagnosed very early and majority of the patients are living a normal life. Its only when the patient comes late the life span may be reduced.

Rahul: Sir I smoke 6 cigarettes per day. What are my chances of being prone to lung cancer & kindly give me serious tips on how to quit cigarettes

Dr. Advani: SMOKING IS VERY BAD FOR THE LUNGS. Even passive smoking is harmful to the lungs. At this stage also you could quit smoking and reduce the chances of developing the lung cancer. Your own determination and the knowledge that, smoking can cause the lung cancer will help you to quit cigarettes.

thyroid: why donít the cancer societies have group sessions at companies and talk to them about smoking and the side effects....??

Dr. Advani: Cancer societies are doing tremendous work for public education through the various media including the website which gives you the full information as to how to reduce the risks of developing the cancer.

manisha: which age is more vulnerable for breast cancer

MODERATOR: Last question for Dr. Advani....we have had a very intense hour with him....hope the room has benefited from this and will join us tomorrow for other chats.....

Dr. Advani: Carcinoma of the breast is more common between the age group of 35-55 yrs. The regular physical examination and mammography will help to diagnose this disease at a early stage.

Rahul: Like do we have any specifics regarding this as determination is a very generic answer.

Dr. Advani: I must inform you that the only way to QUIT SMOKING is by STRONG DETERMINATION all other methods like using the nicotine patch usually fail if the determination is not strong enough.

MODERATOR Thank you Dr. we have had a very interesting chat with you...hope you enjoyed it too and wish you all the best in spreading awareness and fighting cancer... //smiley

Dr. Advani: In fight against cancer we strongly recommend to practice the preventive measures including avoiding tobacco use and smoking, maintaining hygiene and opting vegetarian food. All these will help us to prevent the cancer. Prevention is the best form of managing the cancer. Thank you all for being here.


Y. K. Sapru on Cancer Prevention

Transcript of LIVE chat conducted on Mon Dec 27, 1999

Founder Chairman of the Cancer Patients Aid Association of India

MODERATOR: Welcome Mr. Sapru, we are glad you could make it and have a meaningful chat today.... Chatting here with us live is Mr. Y. K. Sapru...founding Chairman of Cancer Patients Aid Association of India....

nodes: Hello Mr. Sapru....what is the CPAA doing for cancer prevention in India??

Mr. Sapru : Primarily, there are 2 types of activities a. Awareness programs through which we educate people on faulty life styles which are responsible for 70% of cancers in India. B. Focus on cancer check-ups to all healthy individuals above the age of 21 since, early diagnosis in majority of cancers can result in total cure of the disease.

nodes: how long have you been involved with CPAA??

Mr. Sapru : I've been involved with CPAA since its inception, which is 30 yrs. now.

nodes what kind of targets keep for a year at the CPAA??

Mr. Sapru : We have targets in 3 areas. Awareness lectures which we have everyday. In the last 7 years in Bombay alone we have covered over 100,000 individuals personally. Out of this number around 20% go for cancer checkups and it is found by us that out of every 1000 healthy individuals, 3 individuals have cancer. In high-risk groups this figure goes up to 30 per 1000. Our objective is to increase this number. We also help 1000 cancer patients per month. And we propose to increase this number.

nodes: what are the main forms of cancers in India??

Mr. Sapru : In India we have primarily cancers in the areas of Head and neck and Uterine cancer in women. Both these cancers are related to usage of tobacco and early marriage / multiple pregnancies respectively....

Anand: How does one get cancer?

Mr. Sapru : Some of the cancer, which we commonly see, are related to life style. This in India could mean using tobacco in any form and in case of women having early marriage, multiple pregnancies, and multiple partners and incase of breast cancer consumption of high fat diet along with late marriage and avoidance of breast-feeding.

supercool: are there any alternative therapies to cure cancer...Ayurveda etc

Mr. Sapru : In Cancer Patients Aid Association we have seen in the last 30 yrs several patients responding positively to alternate therapies. We have infact several examples of such patients who are still alive and in touch with our organization. However, one does not have scientific data proving beyond doubt the efficacy of any of the alternate therapies.... more data on this is available on CPAA Site..

supercool: What precautions one should take in order not to get cancer..besides non-smoking etc ..does stress effect or lead to cancer?

Mr. Sapru : Besides smoking using of tobacco in any other forms such as eating Gutkha or using tobacco as a dental paste / usage of tobacco in any other form can be equally detrimental. As regards stress there are a few stray articles in medical journals which have linked cancer to excessive stress.

nodes: how much role does sanitation, hygiene and personal awareness play in the prevention of cancers???

Mr. Sapru : This is very important in case of uterine cancers in Women. Here, a co-relation between personal hygiene and uterine cancer has been established.

nodes: does genetically engineered foods affect cancer occurrence??

Mr. Sapru : Cancer occurrence can be triggered off or induced through several chemicals which can serve as carcinogens which result in converting healthy cells into malignant or cancerous cells.

nodes: what are your future programs?? and do you reach into the rural parts of India??

Mr. Sapru : We are currently working on an ambitious plan for spreading knowledge and information on cancer, its prevention, early detection and management through an interactive website This site will be linked to toll-free telephone lines to start with in 30 towns and later in the entire country. Through computers placed in hospitals and colleges etc. we will offer information on all the above subjects both in English and in regional languages to the entire population.

supercool: Mr. speaker.....I know about the pioneering work done by you in the area of starting this organisation..I am an admirer of you and would chip in to help at a required time

Mr. Sapru : We will be happy to have your support and will look forward to many more persons joining this campaign.

nodes: how can we spread awareness about the carcinogenic effects of some pesticides, chemicals now being used in India....and plus the fact that the west is dumping their banned chemicals here???

Mr. Sapru : The Issue in India is related to the adverse effect of tobacco both smoked and consumed. On one hand we have the international cigarette lobby and on the other the 300 odd manufacturers of guthka. Our main task is to fight both these lobbies since vast majorities of cancer in India are related to usage of tobacco in one form or the other.

swam: Can cancer be caused by eating excess Tomato

Mr. Sapru : There is no medical evidence showing this co-relation.

Carcinogens: Is Cancer prevention is more important than curing cancer??

Mr. Sapru : Definitely. In India large percentage of cancer can be prevented through change in life style. Also, if we go in for check-ups of healthy individuals for cancer the disease can be arrested in the early stage... If cancer is detected at a latter stage it becomes very difficult. However, in CPAA through total management of the patient which includes besides therapy, management of social psychological and economic factors. We are able to offer a tolerable quality of life even to patients who are in the advance stage of cancer.

nodes: who should go for cancer detection tests?? i.e. how does an individual know if they should go to get detected??

Mr. Sapru : Currently we see cancer occurring even in children and teenagers. This is particularly so in those youngsters who have taken up the habit of consuming guthka. Otherwise, a safe bet could be an annual check-up for all adults above the age of 21 to detect the disease at an early stage.

vaz: how are you going to counter the tobacco lobby

Mr. Sapru : Several organizations working in the field of cancer have joined hands to tackle the tobacco lobby both international as well as the Indian. We are working towards getting legislationís passed both at center and the state levels to ban advertising of tobacco products as well as their sale to youngsters. CPAA has a major programme of countering the advertising of cigarette lobby through lectures/ street plays in schools and colleges. Hence, both at legislative level and persuasive level we are acting to reduce the usage of tobacco in our country. Every May 30th CPAA has an all India Program against usage of tobacco, which is continued for at least a week.

nodes: tobacco chewing is prevalent in India...but to make it worse so is the gutka you lobby for this issue...??

Mr. Sapru: Working against guthka is even more challenging since, as per social norms guthka is served in silver plates ceremonially to the guests in several parts of the country. Respected role models are seen using guthka in advertisements also, in India while smoking in conservative families is considered bad, consumption of guthka has no such negative connotations in the minds of Indians.

vaz: What after care support systems do you have for the cancer patients who come to you for treatment?

Mr. Sapru : Cancer Patient Aid Association believes in providing total management of the patients. Besides, malignancy / tumor the patient has problems which are economic / social / psychological. By providing in addition to chemo-theraputic drugs free to the patients who come to us. We also look after their other needs such as food, transportation, employment, prosthesis etc. We also constantly provide opportunities to cancer patients to come for entertainment programs with celebrities. Which are organized exclusively for the patients. This is to give them happiness which is so essential when they are going through the traumatic experience of battling the disease.

vaz: Do you also take care of the mental health aspect of the cancer patients and their families? If yes then could you please tell me what sort of counseling do you offer?

Mr. Sapru : Yes. We have qualified social workers who counsel cancer patients and their family members. they also go through all the needs of the cancer patients and their family members so that the focus is not merely on malignancy or tumor but, on the entire individual. We have counseling cells also at various hospitals in Mumbai and other metro towns. In case you need help irrespective of the town where you are, you can contact us through the helpline on our website

div_hot_virgin: medically ... a certain chewing may perpetuate "cancer" but there are many who did not chew or smoked tobacco at all and had one and still many who are on it for decades and still going strong !!!! what say you

Mr. Sapru : The risk factor in individual who smoke or chew tobacco is very much more than those who do not have these habits. There is definite co-relation between cancer of head and neck and usage of tobacco. Infact in our own statistics we find 10 times higher risk of getting cancer in individuals who use tobacco as against those who abstain from such abuse.

vaz: Who are the celebrities connected with your association? Are they regularly associated? What kind of support do they offer?

Mr. Sapru : Salman Khan, Juhi Chawla, Sanjay Dutt, Nana Patekar, Shashi Kapoor, Shobha de, Nana Chudasma, Akshay kumar, Dimple Kapadia, Sonali Bendre.... these are a few of the celebrities working along with us. We also have support of the industry houses such as Reliance, Gujarat Ambuja, Castrol, Cable and Wireless, Hindustan levers and many more. They contribute their time as well as resources for our various programs.

vaz: What kind of specialists do you have on board?

Mr. Sapru : We have around 65 medical specialist on our various panels. They are largely physicians, ENT specialist, Surgeons and Gynecologist.

MODERATOR: Thank you for being here Mr. Sapru...we hope you enjoyed yourself and the surfers learnt something new.....