Treating cancer in the Valley requires a paradigm shift: oncologist Dr Shabnam

After graduating from medical school nearly two decades ago, eminent oncologist Dr. Shabnam Bashir decided to return to the Valley to raise awareness about cancers, bust cancer myths and remove social stigmas attached to it. to this deadly disease.

She said her goal was to start a Cancer Foundation to raise money for cancer screening programs and effective treatment for people with cancer.

Dr. Shabnam, has extensive experience of approximately 11 years in general surgery, and is a senior consultant in malignant breast, colorectal and peritoneal surface tumors.

She has organized cancer awareness campaigns and touched approximately 15,000 lives through her lectures and informational videos.

According to Dr. Shabnam, she is credited with being the first female oncosurgeon from Kashmir to be trained in advanced robotic surgery, CRS, HIPEC and PIPAC therapies for advanced colorectal cancers and other abdominal and peritoneal malignancies in addition to be trained in laser surgeries in coloproctology.

She did her MBBS from Government Medical College Srinagar in 2004 after which she completed a PG degree in Accident and Emergency Care from Apollo Indraprastha Hospital, New Delhi in 2005.

Currently, she has been practicing as a senior consultant and surgical oncologist in some private health institutes in the valley since September 2021.

She is the first female organ-specific oncosurgeon (and the only one till date) in Kashmir trained in laparoscopy, robotic and laser surgery.

“I was awarded the honorary title of Associate Professor by the Apollo Hospitals Educational and Research Foundation Board of Trustees in October 2018. I am trained in Cytoreductive Surgery and HIPEC Therapy and am also Senior Founding Member of the Rectal Cancer Treatment Outcomes Group Ex-ASI KSC Women’s Academic Advisor,” she said.

“I developed, conceptualized and designed Bluethon – the first colorectal cancer awareness campaign of its kind in the country,” she said in a chat with Rising Kashmir.

In a bid to celebrate March as Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, the first Bluethon 2022 event was organized in the valley under the auspices of the Association of Colon & Rectal Surgeons of India in collaboration with the University of Kashmir and the Nigeen Club Tourism Directorate.

She said that one of her priorities was to carry out a cancer awareness campaign with the motto “Fight for a world without cancer” for which she organized various awareness conferences in various major educational, training and educational institutions. business, as well as informative videos and webinars.

“My mission is to educate the public about cancers, available treatments, to bust cancer myths and eliminate social stigmas associated with cancers, to raise awareness of the real numbers and to discuss various high risk factors and high-risk populations.

“I reiterate that 30-50% of cancers are preventable and teach the public about lifestyle changes that can reduce their risk of cancer,” she added.

While discussing the details of cancer management in the valley, Dr. Shabnam pointed out that cancer treatments require a paradigm shift, especially in the private sector.

According to her, the two state-of-the-art healthcare facilities, SKIMS Soura and GMC linked SMHS and Shireen Bagh hospitals, are overstretched as they treat a large number of cancer patients.

According to her, patients are seeking treatment from major corporate hospitals like Delhi NCR, Punjab, Bangalore and Mumbai due to long waiting lists at government run hospitals.

“We need to bring all the high-end facilities, procedures and technologies (diagnostics and treatments) to our valley in order to change the face of cancer treatment here and make it a hub for medical tourism, in addition to providing the best treatment to people. ,” she says.

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