Editor’s Note – May 2019
Do not miss the wood for the trees. I am sure all of us have sat through an English class in our younger days, wondering what exactly the teacher meant when she mentioned this particular idiom. All I could conjure in my mind’s eye were dense forests, and any explanation the teacher might have done at that point clearly went over my head. However, I look at this idiom now and see how it perfectly fits the healthcare scenario in India, especially when it comes to comprehensive cancer care. Often, doctors are so focused on treating the individual that the bigger concepts of creating appropriate, standardised cancer infrastructure are disregarded, or, at best, sidelined for a while. However, India is waking up to the fact that the country needs better infrastructure to treat and care for its cancer patients, from hospitals to diagnostics to palliative care and even, psychological support for patients and their caregivers.
The government and a whole lot of private hospitals and healthcare startups are working hard to bring in state-of-the-art equipment, to train doctors and medical staff better, and bring in innovative solutions to boost diagnoses and dispel myths and social stigma that surround the disease. We also look at initiatives like the National Cancer Grid and the setting up of virtual tumour boards, which are focused on standardising cancer care. In keeping with the theme, we also feature an institute that is revolutionising cancer care for villages in rural Maharashtra: Kolhapur Cancer Centre. We have an exciting lineup for you in terms of lighter reads too. From a book that brings out the drama and realities behind the Indian elections to a classic movie that you will surely want to revisit, we have it all. And yes, summer is here, and the spirit of the season reflects in everything from fashion to food.
Dr Ulhas Ganu