Sunday, 8 November 2009

Indian doctors: Hall of fame - Part 3: Dr V Shanta, cancer specialist, Adyar Cancer Institute

By Syed Akbar
Magsaysay awardee Dr V Shanta is hope personified for millions of cancer patients in the country. In the last five decades, this untiring crusader against cancer rekindled hope, joy and the will to live in patients.
As chairperson of the famous Adyar Cancer Institute in Chennai, Dr Shanta is credited for her pioneering research in oncology, and prevention and cure of cancer.
She is also a leader in popularising early cancer detection programme and has set up India's first hereditary cancer clinic. She also opened tobacco cessation clinic, after her research studies revealed that cancers of the mouth, throat, oesophagus, and lungs are quite high among men and those of the breast and cervix among women. One in five women in the world who suffer from cervical cancer is an Indian.

Noticing her specialisation in cancer, the World Health Organisation nominated her to its advisory committee. Inspired by her maternal uncle Dr Subrahmanyam Chandrasekhar and her grandfather’s brother Sir CV Raman, both Nobel laureates, Dr Shanta too up cancer research. A profound believer in "Supreme Power", she attributes her success and service to the "grace of God" and "faith in her mission".
Dr Shanta is known for her groundbreaking research on oral, cervical, and breast cancer and paediatric leukaemia. At 78, Dr Shanta is quite active and treats cancer patients, performing surgeries and carrying on the research. "There is much more to do," she says, even as she attends to her patients.

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