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Table of Contents
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 162-163

Cancer care in India's spiritual city

Department of Medical Oncology, Tata Memorial Hospital; Homi Bhabha National Institute (HBNI), Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Date of Submission05-Jan-2020
Date of Acceptance06-Jan-2020
Date of Web Publication24-Feb-2020

Correspondence Address:
Lingaraj Nayak
Department of Medical Oncology, Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/CRST.CRST_10_20

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How to cite this article:
Nayak L. Cancer care in India's spiritual city. Cancer Res Stat Treat 2020;3:162-3

How to cite this URL:
Nayak L. Cancer care in India's spiritual city. Cancer Res Stat Treat [serial online] 2020 [cited 2021 Jun 24];3:162-3. Available from: https://www.crstonline.com/text.asp?2020/3/1/162/279064

I congratulate Dr. Chakor and Dr. Mounika for nicely describing their experience of working at our cancer center in Varanasi last year.[1]

Tata Memorial Hospital (TMH), Mumbai, gives a comprehensive curriculum for the DM medical oncology program in their 3-year academic course. However, students also need to develop leadership qualities as most of them are going to work in centers where they need to start an oncology wing from scratch. This is going to be the real test of their skills as a physician, a medical oncologist, an administrator, and a holistic cancer care provider. I think peripheral centers of TMH give this opportunity to students to explore these qualities and discover their deficiencies.

Out of all the outreach centers of TMH, Varanasi is unique in many aspects. This center covers a 20 crore population from eastern Uttar Pradesh and adjoining districts of four different states as a tertiary care referral center for oncology.[2] As the center is growing, residents get involved in the commissioning of various departments and ancillary services needed to run an oncology center. As evident from the experience of our students, they got these opportunities to involve themselves in running the day care, catheter clinic, joint clinics, and social services. Above all, they explored themselves as good administrators and good counselors.

I am involved in the Varanasi project for almost a year now. I have been attached to this place from 2011 to 2014 as a postgraduate resident in Banaras Hindu University. The patient profile in this region is unique in terms of the diversity of cases. We have started hematolymphoid (pediatric and adult) and stem cell transplant services for almost a year now, which were naïve to this part of the country. Residents who are working here now get very good exposure to stem cell transplant right from starting a new transplant unit on their own in future.

Coming to the city of Varanasi, one of the oldest, continually inhabited cities in the world, I had read a quote from the American author Mark Twain[3] from his visit to the city on the Ganga:

“Banaras is older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend and looks twice as old as all of them put together.”

It is an amazing feeling to witness the beautiful city, ghats, boat rides, ganga aarti, mazelike bylanes, street art, cafes, and temples as described by our students.[1] The city teaches you transcendent humanity and spirituality.

I strongly believe that students, after completing their oncology training should work in centers where they will be able to involve themselves in the commissioning of a new oncology unit, which will improve their self-confidence, leadership quality, and teamwork.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Boppana M, Vora CS. Posting in Varanasi: A blessing in disguise. Cancer Res Stat Treat 2019;2:209-11.  Back to cited text no. 1
  [Full text]  
Twain M, Eck DL. Banaras: City of Light. New York: Columbia University Press; 1999.  Back to cited text no. 3


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