I started from Tinsukia by road to Dibrugarh on 20th July 2018 early morning for three events. I am sincerely thankful to Mr. Bhaska Bhuyan, Station Coordinator, for supporting the cause and inviting me to Radio Brahmaputra 90.4 FM on 20th July 2018.
On my way to Dibrugarh from Tinsukia, stopped at Boekel TE for a very short time and met with few women working in Tea Garden.
Event 1: 9 AM: C-NES (Boat Clinics) Dibrugarh and Radio Brahmaputra, Dibrugarh: I am so thankful to C-NES Guwahati team for connecting me to Dibrugarh team. Mrs. Bhaswati Khaund Goswami connected me to Mr. Arup Saikia, DPO, Boat Clinics and Mr. Bhaskar Bhuyan, Station Coordinator, from radio Brahmaputra. Sincere thanks to Mr. Saikia for organizing the event in Dibrugarh C-NES. I reached C-NES Dibrugarh on 20th July, 2018 and did my presentation. I was so glad to see the positivity and acceptance from the team. We had a great interactive session after, where Dr. Juganta Kumar Deori, MO, Boat Clinics, shared his experiences that I captured as a video to be published on Breast Cancer Hub website so that people understand the scenario of Breast Cancer taboo and real life stories will help to break the taboo! I am so thankful to Dr. Deori for coming forward to share his family’s journey! It was a pleasure meeting Ms. Nandita Kalita, Ms. Damayanti Das, Ms. Devarani Deori, Dr. Bhaben Chandra Bora, MO; Mr. Arup Saikia, Mr. Siddhanath Gogoi, Mr. Ramakant Yadav, Mr. Rakesh Doley, Mr. Bhaskarjyoti Bhuyan and Mr. Dipankar Bird Chonre. Mrs. Damayanti Das also came forward and discussed the issues with embarrassment & ignorance regarding Breast Cancer.
I am sincerely thankful to Mr. Bhaskar Bhuyan for supporting the cause and inviting me to Radio Brahmaputra 90.4 FM on 20th July 2018. My primary focus was targeting embarrassment, taboo, ignorance and bringing Breast self exam (how to perform) process in both women and men into picture. If the public are reinforced about the importance of taking care of Breast Health, then we can decrease the mortality rate from Breast Cancer specially in NE India. Radio Brahmaputra can play a huge role and I can keep sending brief talks for future deliveries that might be helpful to combat the critical situation with Breast Cancer in NE India. Thanks to Mr. Bhaskar Bhuyan for his collaboration.
My sincere thanks to Mr. Arup Saikia for DPO, Boat Clinics for collaboration. I am so honored and happy to collaborate with C-NES! We would also like to build the collaborative project as an epidemiological research study along with awareness & education!
Event 2: 11 AM: Pratishruti Cancer and Palliative Care Society and Mahila Samiti: My sincere thanks to Dr. Gayatri Gogoi, Assistant Professor of Pathology, Cancer Researcher Nodal Officer, Assam Medical College for connecting with Dr. Gourangie Gogoi, Assistant Professor, Department of Community Medicine, Assam Medical College for the event. Sincerely grateful to members of Pratishruti Cancer and Palliative Care Society, Dibrugarh and Dibrugarh Mahila Samiti for coming forward to organize the event. Thanks to Mrs. Dipali Saikia, Vice President, Pratishruti, General Secretary, Mahila Samiti; Ms. Panna Bharali, Joint Secretary, Pratishruti for your cooperation and support! My earnest gratitude for Mr. Bharat Khaund, Retired Principal, Jhanji Higher Secondary School in Sivasagar, currently settled in Dibrugarh, for his immense help by connecting me to Dr. Gayatri Gogoi. It was a pleasure meeting the wonderful family of Mr. Khaund, his wife Mrs. Manju Khaund and son Mr. Subrat Khaund. Sincerely thankful to Mrs. Mrs. Susmita Baruah for connecting me to Mr. Bharat Khaund.
During my outreach, I met Mrs. Mrinalini Neog, Breast Cancer Survivor, Diagnosed at Stage III. I am so proud of Mrs. Neog for not hesitating to speak about her story. Mrs. Mrinalini Neog’s journey and interview is posted on Breast Cancer Hub website.
It was an honor to meet Ms. Panna Bharali, Breast Cancer Survivor, (Triple negative Breast cancer, BRCA1 mutation). I am so thankful to Panna since it is so difficult to find Breast Cancer Survivors in India who speak about their journey… Panna is not embarrassed and shy to speak about her story!! So proud of Panna! Panna’s journey and interview is posted on Breast Cancer Hub website! Panna is thankful to Dr Gogoi for giving her the strength during her journey.
I am also thankful to Mrs. Deepali Saikia for bringing out the current scenario of Breast Cancer related to embarrassment and taboo. Interview on BCH website.
Research Collaboration: My utmost thanks to Dr. Gayatri Gogoi and Dr. Gourangie Gogoi for their collaboration on research.
Event 3: Indian Council of Medical Resaearch, Dibrugarh, 6 PM onwards: My sincere and heartfelt thanks to Dr. H. K Das, Assistant Director (Public Health), Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) RMRC, NE Region, MoHFW, Govt of India, Dibrugarh, Assam for inviting me to present. Thank you Dr. Das for supporting the cause and your collaboration for research. I am so excited and looking forward to working together not only on awareness but also on Research. It was a pleasure and honor meeting Dr. J. Mahanta, Emeritus Scientist; Dr. D. K. Narain, Director and great interactive session after the talk. I was very happy to interact with other scientists present and my heartfelt thanks to Dr. Biswajit Borkakoti, Scientist – E, Division of Virology for coming forward and sharing his personal story about Breast Cancer in his family and how his mother didn’t mention to him initially. Now Dr. Borkakoti’s mother is a survivor and inspiring other women fight the disease. Interview with Dr. Borkakoti to be published on BCH website.
Overview: The Dibrugarh outreach gave me diverse experience. Through C-NES (Boat Clinics), Dibrugarh and Radio Brahmaputra, Dibrugarh; the outreach would reach the remote islands where access is minimal. The interactive sessions after my presentations were very helpful! Women spoke to me about the issues with their Breast health. I met the members of Pratishruti and Mahila Samiti, and interviewed Ms. Panna Bharali and Mrs. Mrinalini Neog (Breast Cancer Survivors). I am so thankful to Dr. Juganta Kumar Deori from Boat Clinics and Dr. Biswajit Borkakoti from ICMR for sharing the stories of their family members afflicted with Breast Cancer. All interviews will be published on BCH website.
My sincere thanks to Gayatri Gogoi, Dr. Gourangie Gogoi from Assam Medical College; Dr. Dr. H. K Das from ICMR; Mr. Arup Saikia and Mr. Bhaskar Bhuyan from Boat Clinics and Radio Brahmaputra respectively for collaboration on Breast Cancer Research, awareness & education.
My utmost thanks to Mrs. Sandhya Sen (my maternal Grandma’s sister), Mrs. Soma Sen and Mr. Soumitra Sen for lunch in their home and their immense heartfelt warmth and hospitality. Will carry the remembrances forward!
Finally, a big thank you to Dr. Dilip Kumar Patgiri, Retired Vice Principal, Assam Medical College, Independent Practicing Pediatrician; Mrs. Susama Patgiri; Dr. Saurav Jyoti Patgiri, Scientist C, ICMR; Dr. Aditee Deuri Bharali, Dental surgeon, Sanjivani hospital for the accommodation at night and for all your love and affection!! I am sincerely thankful to Dr. Dilip Kumar Patgiri for his collaboration to take it forward via discussing and providing counseling to mothers on Breast Cancer awareness.
By Dr. Lopamudra Das Roy
Founder & President, Breast Cancer Hub