Lakhs of Indians are devastated by news of cancer, every year. By 2020, cancer incidence is estimated to grow by 25% (ref: ICMR), making cancer one of the major causes of death in India. Yet, this topic is treated as taboo and most often brushed under the carpet and ignored.
While the most common cancers are oral cancers in men, and cervical and breast cancer in women, the good news is that these cancers are curable if detected at an early stage and cervical cancer is preventable. Advances in medical technology coupled with awareness of the symptoms mean greater survival rates. It is thus imperative that people be educated regarding cancer in order to prevent it or detect it at a precancerous stage.
RSM Foundation first step towards ‘Fight Against Cancer’ is creating awareness, since lack of information is one of the major problems in cancer control in India. A large number of people are ignorant about our faulty lifestyles and societal practices, which are responsible for high rate of cancer incidence. RSMF’s awareness efforts aim to educate people on signs and symptoms of cancer, risk and causative factors, ill effects of tobacco and other related issues. Our activities towards that end are awareness lectures, open forum programs, informative brochures and booklets, infomercials and short films and tobacco cessation programmes. These measures are crucial not only to spread awareness, but also to reduce stigma related to cancer.
RSMF compiles and creates informative cancer brochures, to understand and a quick reference guide to patients, caregivers including laymen. Brochures on Breast cancer, Cervical cancer, Diet and Cancer, Leukemia, Lymphedema, Lung cancer, Ovarian cancer, Tobacco related Oral/Lung cancers, Prostate cancer, Testicular cancer, Chemotherapy and Radiation are provided in English and Hindi languages at various hospital and treatment centers. The brochures elaborate on symptoms, risk factors, treatment options etc and are endorsed and approved by concerned expert oncologists. RSMF’s ‘Sahayata’ is a quick reference resource handbook containing contacts of community help and welfare services pertaining to cancer-related issues.
Infomercials and Short Films
Over the years several advertising agencies and publishing houses have come forward to help us raise awareness about critical issues pertaining to tobacco consumption and cancer in general by creating short films, infomercials and posters. The efforts have won us several awards and accolades worldwide, and have thus signaled the organisation’s seriousness in dealing with tobacco issues and policies.
Lectures and Open Forums
RSMF’s cancer awareness lectures educate about the correlation between lifestyles and cancer. Lectures are given in English or a local regional language at schools, colleges, factories, hotels, residential localities and offices. Cancer is explained with the help of pertinent presentations giving facts about risk factors, myths, specific cancers – early signs / symptoms, statistics of prevalence and prevention, posters and brochures to portray a realistic picture about cancer and help remove the perceived stigma.
Efforts are made to reach areas and groups that are inaccessible or unapproachable. Target groups are School and College students for awareness of the ill-effects of Tobacco; Women’s groups for Breast and Cervical cancer awareness; in-mates of Jails/Prisons; Personnel and families of the Armed forces; blue-collar workers etc. The message is reinforced in innovative ways like skits, surveys, posters, drawing or slogan writing competitions, mass pledges. Special programs are organised to mark events like World Cancer Day, International Womens’ Day, International Womens’ Day, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, etc
Tobacco Cessation Program
‘Quit Tobacco for Life’: Today’s laws have made it mandatory for corporates to enforce a tobacco free workplace. However, RSMF believes that it is in the employer’s interest to help employees to quit voluntarily rather than have it forced upon them. Smoking has an adverse effect on your employees’ health and results in loss of productivity; hence the use of effective workplace smoking cessation initiatives will result in measurable benefits in terms of health, social and economic gains. RSMF’s Tobacco Free Workplace program starts with an awareness lecture to explain the dangers of smoking, causal relationship with cancer and strategies used by the tobacco industry to promote addiction. The information is related in a scientific, non threatening manner, providing education on the deleterious effects of tobacco on health, benefits of quitting and providing motivation. Introductory training on Tobacco cessation is imparted to the employee population per se without segregating tobacco users. Users are invited to contact us through email, mobile or personal visit to our office at Jodhpur, directly or through their HR department.