Recently I had been a part of a talk on Breast Cancer Awareness for Abhilasha Mahila Mandali at Jayanagar. It was a lovely experience for me which I would love to share it here on my blog. Being a punctual person, I reached there a bit early and could sit and watch women drop in one by one. Most of them were housewives, in the age group of 40-80 who gathered enthusiastically to learn about cancer and know more about this demon everyone fears. For past two months I have attended a lot of awareness programs, where the audiences were more educated people than the group I was meeting here. I wondered whether these women would really grasp the topic and understand what the doctors were saying or was it going to be a futile attempt.
The two doctors who were to present the program were Dr. Padma Kamineni and Dr. Krithika.M whose profile told me once again how tough it was for them to connect with women, who earlier had told me that they wanted the program to be in Kannada, as many of them could not follow English.
A big surprise awaited me, as the awareness program began when though with difficulty Dr.Padma Kamineni explained everything about health awareness to women present in Kannada. She was very much accommodating, and encouraged the women to interrupt and ask her questions in between her presentation.
Much accolades should be given to the women also, who were open with their fears about cancer and asked the doctor quite relevant questions which made her provide crucial information regarding health issues to the people present. These women were honest with their fear about cancer, unlike many who try to ask intellectual questions, throwing doubts on the information provided by doctors. But this group was different, they asked simple questions like
Why does cancer happen?
How can we prevent cancer?
What diet can help in prevention of cancer?
What are the symptoms to be aware of?
After being through many seminars and awareness programs where we had educated people as participants, this was a program gave me insight into the fears common people posses about cancer, what type of misconceptions they have and how much they want to avoid it in their lives. This was an eye opener for me.
Dr. Krithika gave short but very important information about self breast examination with the help of video. She also spoke in Kannada so that everyone could understand her, and was accommodative to all types of queries.
Sensing the fear among the present, I spoke in the end for a while explaining that cancer does not mean death, I am the proof of it. I gave a brief account of my survivor story to the people present. Most of the people present were taken aback to know I was a survivor. I explained to them that, life changes after cancer but it need not always be a negative change. At times being near to death allows us to have positive change in our lives too.
I appreciate the effort put by HCG, Mrs. Shylaja Prabhakar Executive Assistant and its team of doctors in creating cancer awareness among people, and spreading message about the importance of early diagnosis and right treatment the first time. They need a big applause for their efforts.
Dr. Padma Kamineni has completed her graduation from prestigious Institute in Karnataka and pursued her higher education in Hematology and Medical Oncology from Howard University Hospital, Washington, DC and subsequently worked as an Assistant Professor for a year. She has worked as an Oncologist in Northern Virginia, USA.Her special interests are breast cancer and gastro intestinal cancer.
She was recognized as America’s Top Oncologists by Consumer Research Council of America two years in a row (2009 & 2010). She has also been named as one of Top Medical Oncologists by Northern Virginia Magazine for two years in a row (2011 & 2012). She actively participated in Annual Meet Our Experts panel discussion in Breast Cancer at Inova Fair Oaks Hospital, Fairfax, VA. She has also published papers and articles in international journals-Blood, JNMA, and Clinica Chimica Acta.
She is Board certified in Hematology and Medical Oncology and Internal Medicine. She is an active member of American Society of Oncology (ASCO) and American Society of Hematology.
Dr. Krithika.M Consultant Surgical Oncologist has vast experience & is a pioneer in advanced Breast Conservative surgeries, she has performed more than 3000 surgeries.
She is a gold medalist from Rajiv Gandhi University of Health sciences &completed her postgraduate surgical training from the United Kingdom. She continued higher surgical training in the United Kingdom & has extensive training in different specialties of oncosurgery in UK.She has been actively involved in various research and audit projects and has a number of international publications to her credit and won prizes for the same.She has been actively involved in mentoring and teaching juniors.She has done her fellowhsip in breast and colorectal surgery in England.
Her specialist interest include breast and oncoplastic surgery including reconstruction and cosmetic surgery, colorectal cancers including laproscopic colorectal surgery.She is member of British Medical Association and Royal College of Surgeons (Edin).