Christian Medical College Vellore

Not to be ministered unto but to minister

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Vision Statement: The Christian Medical College, Vellore, seeks to be a witness to the healing ministry of Christ, through excellence in education, service and research

Help Us Beat Cancer

Contents

Help Us Beat Cancer

Thousands of people come to CMC seeking treatment for Cancer.
Many of them will continue to live healthy, happy lives for many years to come – thanks to the Expert Care given here at CMC.

Every day we see and feel the result of Covid-19 around us. It has stopped us meeting with friends and family, going to school or being able to walk around freely. But some things haven’t stopped – and one of these is cancer. CMC continues to care for those who are suffering from cancer and many other illnesses that keep on destroying lives. In these challenging times, we especially need your help for our cancer patients.

Baby Vishal’s 1000km bike ride

Baby Vishal* is the joy of his parents. The family migrated for employment from their village in Tamil Nadu to a city near Mumbai. Early this year, baby Vishal fell sick with fever, diarrhea and vomiting. A local clinic couldn’t help him. So they went to a big hospital in Mumbai and doctors gave them shocking news – it was blood cancer.

“I was shattered, our little innocent child has cancer”

wept his father.

The number of corona patients in Mumbai was rising, and they had no income. So the family decided to travel home for Vishal’s treatment. But with the lockdown, there were no trains or buses.

Vishal came to CMC hospital  for his cancer treatment - seen here happy, in the ward cot, before any treatment starts
Vishal is happy playing in his cot in CMC, this was before his chemotherapy started

We did not have money for an ambulance. So, we came back by motorbike. We didn’t care if we died on the way, we wanted the best treatment for our child”.

said his mother holding back her tears.

The three of them set out on the long journey. At night the family slept alongside the highway. And they survived on soaked rice and salt. They were exhausted when they reached home but were advised to go straight to Vellore.

CMC Care for Vishal

The caring Paediatric Oncology team was there to welcome Vishal. An immediate grant of Rs.1 lakh was given from CMC’s Emergency Fund so they could begin chemotherapy immediately. But his treatment over the next three years will cost about ₹7 lakhs.

baby vishal has started chemotherapy for his blood cancer at CMC Vellore
Vishal is not so happy now his chemotherapy has started. But it is needed if we hope to save his life.

You can help Baby Vishal!
Support this family on their journey of healing. Click here to donate. Your gift, whatever the size, will help the family during this difficult time. If we receive more funds than what we need, it will be used for other children with cancer.

Thank you for your support!

Story contributed by Child Health. *Names changed

Please note: Gifts for the treatment of a specific patient do not qualify for income tax exemption under S.80G. Use the Donate button at the top of the page to donate for any patient with cancer, and your gift will be eligible for tax relief.

You can read other stories about patients with cancer here


How we Care for Cancer Patients

When you hear the word “CANCER”, your heart sinks. It is a diagnosis most of us dread. But we can cure cancer. Here are some of the treatments that CMC uses to care for cancer patients.


Surgery

Surgery is used for many types of cancer. Raji Amma had colorectal cancer, a malignant tumour in the large bowel. This kind of cancer often needs surgery to cut out the cancer cells.

Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers in India. An operation may be done to cut out just the cancer lump (called a lumpectomy) but sometimes the whole breast has to be removed (mastectomy).

These cancer operations are usually done by specialists. CMC has many specialist surgery departments.

surgeons play a part in the cancer care of patients, seen here busy operating on a pteint
Surgeons at CMC Vellore operating on a patient
Raji amma after the cancer care she received at CMC Vellore

Raji Amma had treatment for cancer at CMC Vellore. Read her story here.

Read other stories about patients CMC cares for here.


Radiotherapy

Radiotherapy, or radiation therapy, uses special radiation machines to give high dose Xrays to kill cancer cells. These give a much higher dose than ordinary Xray machines.

CMC has several advanced radiation machines. These focus the radiation on the cancer cells and cause less damage to healthy cells near the tumour. The patient gets less side effects.

Cancer care given by a therapist who lines up the machine for the patient ready for treatment
Radiotherapy machine in use at CMC Vellore

Cancer care cure is often given by radiotherapy machines like this Clinac 2100CD Linear Accelerator 1000 newly installed in 2010
The linear Accelerator, CLinac 2100CD, after it was installed in CMC

Patients usually have radiotherapy a few times a week for several weeks. Radiotherapy may also be given before or after surgery. Some people do not need radiotherapy at all.

The team plans the treatment in detail to make sure the radiation hits the exact spot where the cancer cells are. We train technicians to help with this work. See here for information on admission to the BSc. Radiotherapy Technology and other courses at CMC.


Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy uses strong medicines to kill the cancer cells. Sometimes the patient takes tablets. But often the medicines are given by an “intravenous infusion“. The chemotherapy drug is “dripped’ or infused through a tube into the vein.

young girl in hospital bed with infusion in her arm, a part of her cancer care
Chemotherapy drips are used for cancer care and cure at CMC

syringes, tablets, pills, vials and bottle of medicine can all be used as part of chemotherapy   provided at CMC, Vellore
Chemotherapy can be tablets, injections or infusions. All can be used for cancer care and cure

Chemotherapy can reach all the cells in the body. This is why it can make people feel quite unwell. Common side effects are nausea, vomiting, weight loss and some people lose their hair.

These side effects may be horrible. But the treatment can save lives.


Stem Cell and Bone Marrow Transplant

CMC also has a dedicated unit for stem cell treatment and bone marrow transplants. These transplants are used to cure blood cancers like leukemia, lymphoma, and multiple myeloma.

Home of a Healing God

This lovely video about CMC Vellore, from about 2009, has a section about bone marrow transplants. The numbers of patients and costs are out of date, but the video still has useful information in it.

Home of a Healing God: Christian Medical College Vellore. The section on bone marrow transplates starts at 1 min 50 seconds (1:50).

The front cover of the Home of a Healing God DVD a man praying
Home of a Healing God: a beautiful video looking at what goes on in CMC. Made over 10 years ago, the numbers change, but not the message.

Read more about Stem Cell and Bone Marrow Transplant here


Palliative Care

Sadly, there are times when we cannot cure the cancer. Some people lose the battle and will die. Our aim is then to help the patient feel as comfortable as possible. Treatments, including surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy, can still make a big difference. Pain relief and taking care of other side effects like nausea are vital. CMC has a Palliative Care Department to care for people and their families when there is no cure.

Dr Reena  providing care for  a patient in the community
Dr Reena and her team visit patients and provide cancer care in their homes & support the families.

Kannigapuram Cancer Centre

The new campus at Kannigapuram, in Ranipet district on the main highway, will soon become the main centre for CMC’s cancer care services. Radiotherapy, chemotherapy, stem cell treatment and some specialist surgery will move to this new hospital. However cancer treatment will still be available in the main hospital campus in Vellore.


Words used in Cancer Treatment

Here is a link to some helpful videos that explain the words used in cancer treatment. The videos show the meaning of words like cancer, chemotherapy, infusion etc. Each video is less than one minute long.

Click to see videos on words used in Cancer treatment


Cancer Care and Cure: Training Healthcare Professionals

A large number of people can be a part of the team looking after someone with cancer. Some of the professionals include doctors, nurses, radiation therapy technicians, radiology technicians, physiotherapists, and more. We have undergraduate training for these professionals and postgraduate training for some of these specialties. You can download the CMC Vellore student prospectus below.

CMC student prospectus

CMC trains healthcare professionals to provide cancer care in the future. Here the jasmine chain is carried by the final year ladies in the graduation ceremony
CMC graduation ceremony with the jasmine chain leading the way for the graduating students – providing tomorrow Cancer Care. Click on the phot to read more.

Donation Information

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