Cancer is difficult to cure, but employees at CPAA are committed to their work and have genuine sympathy for patients who seek help
In India, one of the major problems in cancer control is lack of information. Faulty lifestyles are largely responsible for increased incidence of cancer and most people are ignorant about the dreaded disease. Creating awareness about cancer is CPAA’s (Cancer Patients Aid Association) first step in the ‘Total Management of Cancer’.
CPAA came into existence in 1969 when founder chairman and CEO, YK Sapru personally reached out to the family of a little girl, Jaya Jhabbar, who was battling leukaemia. He realised that merely dispensing money, food and medicine is not enough; cancer is a disease that has far-reaching implications that go beyond surgical and medical procedures. It spells fear, trauma, expensive treatment, side-effects, social rejection, distraught families and tattered finances. This is where CPAA comes into the picture.
Apart from sympathy and succour, CPAA is an active crusader for the rights of cancer patients. It has led the battle for anti-tobacco legislation and is assisting in its implementation; it has also campaigned to make new-generation medicines available to cancer patients at affordable prices.
Last year, CPAA won a path-breaking seven-year legal battle against the attempt of Novartis AG’s to further patent anti-leukaemia drug Glivec, which is an effective treatment for chronic myeloid leukaemia. Glivec costs approximately Rs1.2 lakh per month. The Supreme Court verdict allows Indian manufacturers to continue making inexpensive generics at Rs8,000-Rs10,000 per month.
CPAA has tied up with New India Assurance Company to provide a unique cancer insurance policy to healthy individuals after a free medical check-up to screen for commonly occurring cancers. Policyholders are contacted annually for a follow-up health check. If they contract cancer during the validity policy, CPAA ensures speedy processing of claims. This policy ensures regular funding for expensive and prolonged cancer treatment. It has enrolled 12,332 policyholders, since its launch in 1994.
Patient care services form the heart of CPAA’s activities. They provide emotional, financial and medical help to cancer patients and act as a support system for the overall needs of cancer patients. This includes working to rehabilitate patients and get them back on their feet. Patient care activities range from budgeted aid for treatment, transport assistance, playgroups for children and providing prostheses (artificial body parts).
Sometimes, the support has extended over generations. Anita’s story is one such; a healthy child of three, Anita’s tendency to fall frequently worried her parents. Her doctor noticed that her right eye ball had turned white and further investigations led to the diagnosis of retinoblastoma (a type of eye cancer). CPAA helped with her treatment and surgery and in 1991. Years passed and Anita found a perfect life partner in Mr Gupta. A year later, they had a healthy baby boy, followed by a little baby girl Aakanksha after six years. Their happiness got a jolt when Aakanksha too contracted cancer. But, again, CPAA was there to provide support and to ensure that Anita and Aakanksha overcame their troubles with grit and determination. Today, Aakanksha has continued her education and, against all odds, has completed her eighth standard.
CPAA’s mission and efforts require support and donations. It has the stamp of approval of institutions like Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS). CPAA is listed as a Tier-1 NGO by GiveIndia allowing you to help its cause. Donations to CPAA are exempt under Section 80-G; volunteers are welcome too.
Cancer Patients Aid Association
Smt. Panadevi Dalmia Cancer Management Centre,
King George V Memorial, Dr. E. Moses Road,
Mahalakshmi, Mumbai - 400 011
Tel: +91 22 2492 4000