Regional Cancer Centre all set to be inaugurated in Madurai

The Centre has advanced, high-end equipment and will treat patients free of cost, officials said

The construction of the Regional Cancer Centre (RCC) on the premises of the Balarengapuram Government Hospital in Madurai has been completed, and it is ready to be inaugurated by Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami. Currently, a limited number of patients are being treated on a trial basis at the hospital.

The RCC, which is part of Government Rajaji Hospital (GRH), has advanced equipment for treating patients with cancer, free of cost, and this will largely benefit needy patients, said GRH Dean J.Sangumani.

The RCC has been constructed at a cost of around ₹30 crore, and was first announced by the then Chief Minister Jayalalithaa. It will have a Truebeam Linear Accelerator (LINAC), a device of advanced technology in radiotherapy. A source from GRH said that the RCC will become the only hospital in Madurai district to have this machine. “Currently, equipment with less advanced technology is being used in treating cancer patients,” he said.

The LINAC equipment provides high-precision radiation techniques like image-guided radiation, stereotactic body radiotherapy, stereotactic radio surgery and intensity-modulated radiation, said Dr. Sangumani. Apart from this, there are brachytherapy machines and a CT simulator at the hospital.

According to the Dean, with the new equipment, cervical cancer can be easily treated with brachytherapy with less morbidity. Head and neck cancer patients can be treated with fewer side effects. Even small tumours in the liver and pancreas can be treated through this advanced radiation equipment without any surgery. Breast conservation treatment can be done with advanced technologies. Lung cancers and oesophageal cancers can be treated effectively without side effects, he added.

Besides, advanced dosimetry equipment will be available at the hospital, which will help to verify the right dosage for the patients. With all this equipment, it will be easier to provide accurate treatment for the patients. “The cancer treatment with such highly advanced machines will cost several lakhs of rupees in private hospitals. But this treatment will be provided free of cost for the patients here at the Regional Cancer Centre,” said Dr. Sangumani. The Centre is authorised to treat cancer patients under the Chief Minister’s Comprehensive Health Insurance Scheme.

A GRH doctor said that each cancer patient needs a minimum of 30 sessions. Around 100 patients can get treated at the hospital every month.

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