Caritas Cancer Institute is one of the biggest and comprehensive institutes of its kind in the state of Kerala. Started in 2003, the Institute offers complete care for management for all types of Cancers, in both adults and children. The team of highly trained medical, surgical and radiation oncologists at the Institute offers optimal, evidence-based and customized treatment to patients, following a multi-disciplinary approach. The Institute offers complete care for the management of all type of Cancers.
The Medical Oncology Department at Caritas Hospital provides advanced care ranging from home based oral therapies to complex chemotherapy procedures and bone marrow transplantation. The team of oncologists in the department adopts a personalized and optimal treatment strategy for each patient with strict adherence to international guidelines. The Department has advanced diagnosis and prognosis tools and a state-of-the-art Haematology Lab. The patients also receive the services of counselors and dieticians at the Department.
The Surgical Oncology Division offers a wide range of surgeries for cancers in breast, head and neck, thoracic region. Surgical procedures are also undertaken for gastrointestinal malignancies, gynecological malignancies, pelvic malignancies, bone and soft tissue sarcomas. The expert surgeons in the Division perform highly advanced organ preservation surgeries with the support of medical and radiation oncology specialists. Reconstructive surgeries such as complete breast reconstruction using flaps and implants, CRS-HIPEC surgeries, limb salvage surgery for bone tumours with modular prosthesis, free fibula flaps and intra-operative extra-corporeal radiation are also performed here. The Surgical Oncology Division of Caritas Hospital is the only center in Central Travancore running GI Surgical Oncology programme.
The Department of Radiation Oncology of Caritas Hospital provides highly advanced radiation therapy services for management of cancers. The core team comprising radiation oncologists, medical physicists, radiation technologists and oncology nurses at the Department renders the patients personalized, optimum, evidence-based treatment with minimum side effects. The Department also has a range of high-end radiation therapy equipment to facilitate quality treatment. Further, the department successfully runs a DNB programme with an aim to nurture qualified doctors in the field of Radiation Oncology.
Computerized Treatment Planning Systems
Internal Radiation Therapy- Brachytherapy
Palliative care is the active total care of patients and their families by a multi-disciplinary team at the time when the patient’s disease is no longer responsive to curative treatment. It is an approach that improves the quality of life of patients and their families facing the problem associated with life threatening illness, through the prevention and relief of suffering. Palliative care responds to physical, psycho-social, mental, economic and spiritual needs. It also extends necessary support in bereavement.
The core components of a comprehensive cancer control programme are Cancer awareness, Cancer prevention, Cancer early detection , Cancer screening and early treatment.
Hospital Based Cancer Registry
Cancer registry is used to record information on the cancer patients visiting Caritas Hospital. This helps us to assess patient care, provide an idea of the patterns of cancer in the area and to participate in Clinical Research activities.
The department has been maintaining Hospital Based Cancer Registry (HBCRs) as per the standards and norms prescribed by the National Cancer Registry Programme (NCRP) - National Centre for Disease Informatics and Research (NCDIR) - Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Bengaluru since 2013.
There are only 4 hospitals in Kerala currently associated with National Cancer Registry and Caritas Hospital is one among them.
Intensive information, education and communication (IEC) activities are required to sensitize the community about the significance of the disease and its early detection through screening. Substantial efforts are still needed to dispel the myths, fears and gloom that tend to accompany any consideration of cancer.
The department organises various Cancer Awareness programmes in Kottayam and nearby districts to educate society about causes, risk factors , prevention and common symptoms of cancer and how to identify the symptoms early.
Early Cancer Detection
Cancer when identified early, is more likely to respond effective treatment, resulting in greater probability of surviving as well as less morbid and less expensive treatment. The establishment of an early diagnosis programme may be the most feasible strategy to reduce the proportion of patients presenting with late stage cancer and improve survival rates.
Early cancer detection can be achieved by sensitizing the community about the significance of the disease and its early detection through screening. Attendees of the awareness programmes are trained to look for the early symptoms and self examination techniques for oral and breast examinations. People with symptoms of Cancer are further followed up at Caritas Cancer Institute.
Cancer awareness is followed by Cancer Screening camps at the local communities for Oral , breast and Cervical cancer. Special focus is given to the underprivileged groups.
Anti-Tobacco campaigns are done at schools and colleges targeting young students from 5th standard about the harmful effects of Tobacco and Tobacco Cessation Counselling (TCC) is given for students who wants to quit tobacco.
Preventive Oncology Clinic at Caritas Cancer Institute is utilized by patient caregivers to get themselves checked for early cancer symptoms and to get further information on Cancer prevention.
Facilities Provided are :
Tobacco Cessation Clinic provides the following facilities for Tobacco users who wants to quit.
Kudumbashree is the poverty eradication and women empowerment programme implemented by the State Poverty Eradication Mission (SPEM) of the Government of Kerala. Caritas Cancer Institute along with Kudumbashree will be launching a Comprehensive Breast Cancer control programme through Kudumbashree workers.
Cervical Cancer is caused by Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) and HPV is transmitted sexually. Hence sex workers are at high risk to develop this cancer. This programme includes cervical cancer awareness followed by cervical cancer screening among sex workers to identify the women at risk for cancer and prevent the precancerous lesions if detected from developing into invasive cancer.
There are around 2.5 million migrant labourers from other states (interstate migrants) working in Kerala. In terms of health care utilization, Interstate Migrant workers form a marginalized community . However use of different forms of Tobacco and associated Oral Pre-cancer lesions are very prevalent among migration workers . This is mainly due to lack of awareness , inability to access health care and language barrier.
This programme aims to educate migrant workers about the harmful side effects of tobacco and assist them in quitting tobacco. Also prevalence of Oral Pre-cancer will be evaluated and those with lesions will be given further assistance and treatment to reduce the lesions.