A ray of hope

Tirupati-based SVICCAR offers healing and a ray of hope for cancer patients in Andhra Pradesh

The chemo block at the Day Care Centre has been critical to the efforts to provide effective cancer care

When 77-year-old Lakshmi R (name changed) was diagnosed with cancer, it meant for her as the end of the world. Lymphoma of both eyelids led to loss of vision and, immeasurable pain and suffering. Hailing from an underprivileged background, her family was unable to get necessary tests done or get her treatment for a prolonged period.

The loss of vision pushed Lakshmi into depression and she was left completely dependent on her son. She became a total recluse and refused to meet her relatives and neighbours.

The condition was near hopeless and it was then that her son learnt about the Sri Venkateswara Institute of Cancer Care and Advanced Research (SVICCAR) in Tirupati.

Advanced treatment and care

Set up by the Tata Trusts in association with the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD), the comprehensive day-care centre started operations in January 2020. Since then the centre has been serving the patients of the region.

Having learnt about SVICCAR, Ms Lakshmi's son brought her to meet the clinical team at the hospital. The team counselled Ms Lakshmi and her son and referred her for radiation therapy. Following the treatment, her swelling and pain gradually disappeared, and thus the vision returned. A happy and confident Ms Lakshmi returned to her village.

The waiting area at the Day Care Centre at the Tirupati-based SVICCAR

A patient at the Day Care Centre gets counselled as part of the treatment strategy at SVICCAR

Qualified medical personnel and quality treatment have been key to SVICCAR's success

E-helpdesks have also been set up at the Day Care Centre to offer remote counselling and therapy

A breast cancer awareness session being conducted by SVICCAR team

Help to the needy

Like Lakshmi, 50-year-old Jaya, (name changed) came to SVICCAR in December 2020. She had multiple painful nodules over the left chest wall and was unable to sleep because of pain. Her shoulder movements were restricted due to pain and swelling in her upper limbs. Examination revealed the disease had spread to the right breast, lungs and liver. Her psychological evaluation revealed that she was was unable to cope up with her handicap and was going through a tough time.

The condition was explained to Jaya and her husband, and also the consecutive line of treatment, possible adverse effects, risk factors, and the goals of the planned treatment.

When treatment started, she began responding to it almost immediately. She completed her treatment in July 2021. Ulcerated nodules over the left chest wall had disappeared, pain subsided and consequently, she was able to move her shoulder and sleep peacefully.

Best-in-class medical treatment has spread the word about SVICCAR. As a result, the number of patients walking in for quality care has witnessed an upward trend making SVICCAR the byword for quality care in Chittoor and neighbouring districts of Andhra Pradesh.

This story first appeared on Tata Trusts >>