Bangalore, 4 February 2023: A global initiative, led by Union for International Cancer Control, World Cancer Day is observed every year on 4th February to raise awareness, educate and promote personal, collective, and government action to save millions of preventable cancer deaths.
This World Cancer Day, Milann – India’s leading chain of fertility clinics, and a subsidiary of HCG Cancer Hospital, Bengaluru, one of India’s leading cancer care specialists come together for the digital campaign #PledgeToPreserveFertility to #CloseTheCareGap to raise awareness amongst people diagnosed with cancer. The purpose of the campaign is to educate people so that they can make informed choices to preserve their fertility before they begin cancer treatments.
Talking about the #PledgeToPreserveFertility campaign, Dr. Vishal Rao, Country Director – Head Neck Surgical Oncology & Robotic Surgery at HCG Cancer Centre Bengaluru, who is also spearheading the digital campaign said, “In the global fight against cancer, there is an urgent need to define targets and timelines to address and close the care gaps. One such significant and neglected aspect is fertility and cancer.
We live in a time of awe-inspiring advances that have seen the survival rates for many cancers skyrocket. In most countries around the world, however, many people are unable to effectively access adequate care to fertility, even when the infrastructure and expertise exist. This is the “equity gap” – and it is costing lives. (In)equity and (in)equality have both been pertinent to aspect of fertility and cancer care. Equality = Sameness. Inequality refers to the uneven distribution of resources. Equity = Fairness. Inequity means unjust, avoidable differences in care or outcomes.
These initiatives taken by HCG and Milaan will play a key role in addressing the inequality in access to fertility care that exists between populations and areas and will go a long way in ensuring radical healthcare transformations at the community level.”
On joining hands with HCG for the awareness campaign, Dr. Kamini A. Rao, a Padma Shri awardee and Founder and Chief Mentor of Milann, said, “We are glad to be associated with HCG for the campaign and spread awareness amongst people. We understand the power of working together for the cause and educating people about the life-threatening disease and being able to help them in understanding the issue in a better way”.
A lot of people diagnosed with cancer do not know that cancer treatments can adversely impact their ability to have children and when they find out, it’s often too late. In women, chemotherapy and radiation can lead to premature ovarian failure. In some cases, reproductive organs are permanently affected. For men, chemotherapy and radiation can lower sperm counts or decrease sperm movement, leading to difficulty causing a pregnancy. While sperm counts may rebound, it may take months or years.
Depending on age, gender and, type of cancer, and treatment there will be many options before the patient. The most common fertility preservation methods for adults include Sperm Cryopreservation, Oocyte Cryopreservation, and Embryo Cryopreservation.
Through #PledgeToPreserveFertility campaign, Milann aims to educate and spread awareness about preserving fertility amongst cancer patients who are undergoing cancer treatments. In light of World Cancer Day’s theme of closing the care gap, Milann will also offer patients diagnosed with cancer the benefit of the first year of cryopreservation free. Cryopreservation is the process where biological material – cells, tissues, or organs – are frozen to preserve them for an extended period of time.
Milann is deeply committed to helping oncologists, hospitals and patients diagnosed with cancer get the resources, advice, and help they need for fertility preservation. The campaign is built on three pillars – Educate: spread awareness around the fertility preservation process before starting with cancer treatments, Enquire: ask patients to address the issue with their Oncologist and a fertility expert before they begin the treatment, and lastly Guide: where cancer patients or their families can visit the Milann website and get all relevant resources related to fertility preservation before the cancer treatment.