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Public often does not know that early detection cures Cancer. Cancer screening to detect cancer early and empowering the public on cancer prevention is the forte of preventive oncology.

Fear Not Cancer But The Delay

The word “Cancer” generates lots of anxiety because most people do not know that early detection cures and that cancer is preventable and there are ways to prevent it. There are many unanswered questions, fears and myths in the minds of the people and here we are… to help each and every one of you!

The incidence of cancer is steadily increasing. Over the past two decades the incidence of common cancers has nearly doubled. The most common cancers are tobacco-related, cervix and breast cancers. Fortunately, these are the cancers, more amenable to prevention and control through early detection.

Cancer Institute (WIA) is the pioneer in cancer control initiatives, which started as early as 1961. Cancer control by early detection and cancer screening services for apparently healthy people has been part of the services rendered by the institute, since its inception.

In order to make this specialized services easily and widely available to general public, the department of Preventive Oncology is currently functioning in the Gandhi Nagar campus, Adyar, Chennai, away from the crowded cancer outpatient departments. This facilitates easy accessibility and reduces the waiting time for consultation and related services.

Breast Cancer-early Detection Plan

Early detection is the key to cure breast cancer.

Maintain a healthy weight, follow a low-fat diet, get regular physical activity

This is a general recommendation. Women at increased risk such as positive family history require close monitoring. Any palpable lump in the breast requires immediate medical attention.

Emergency Cases

Please feel welcome to contact our friendly reception staff with any general or medical enquiry call us.

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Monday – Friday :  8.00 am – 7:00 pm
Saturday : 9.00 am – 8.00 pm
Sunday : 10.00 am – 9.00 pm

Registration Time

Monday – Sunday : 7.00 am – 11.00 am

Visiting Hours

Monday – Sunday : 4.00 PM – 6.00 PM

Prevent Cervical Cancer

Cervical cancer is a preventable cancer. A virus called Human Papilloma causes this cancer.

All sexually active women should undergo screening tests like pap smear or HPV testing or both. It is necessary to repeat the tests periodically once a year or once in two years based on medical advice.

Any abnormalities detected in these tests should be treated immediately to prevent cervix cancer.

Women above 50 years of age and post-menopausal women should have a baseline pap smear if they are not previously screened. Tests may be repeated if necessary. Annual Gynec/pelvic examination is strongly recommended.

[read more] HPV Vaccines:Vaccines are available to prevent cervical cancer. These are recommended for children 11 to 13 years of age for maximum benefit, though girls of any age before the onset of sexual activity can receive the vaccines.

Vaccines do not offer 100% protection against cervical cancer. Therefore it is mandatory to undergo screening tests as recommended after the onset of sexual activity. [/read]


The cancer control activities by the Cancer Institute (WIA), Chennai, dates back to 1961-62 when a survey of 10,775 patients attending the primary health centres in Chengalpattu district for any ailment was carried out analogous to opportunistic screening for cancer. Due to financial limitations, we could not undertake any major control programmes for the next 20 years, except limited ‘opportunistic screening’ in the corporation hospitals in Madras City.

This was followed by

Current Programs

District Cancer Screening Project – Chennai, Kanchipuram, Thiruvallore (2008-ongoing).

[read more] Training of the screening team

The Department of Preventive Oncology has been upgraded with a video colposcope, two LEEP &Cryotherapy units, especially for providing training in conduct of screening camps. The screening team is offered an intensive two weeks training at the Cancer Institute, through the various Departments. The Medical officers are trained for screening oral, breast and cervix – VIA, VILI, Cytology, Colposcopy and guided biopsy, Cryotherapy, Leep and Cone procedures. The Program Coordinator and the Social Workers are trained in organizing awareness and health education programs, screening camps, tobacco cessation education and counseling subjects and sensitizing the woman for screening and follow-up. The program coordinator will also be trained in record and data maintenance.

Health workers are trained for organizing and setting up of field clinics, screening techniques like VIA/ VILI, to teach Breast Self-Examination (BSE), to assist Medical Officers in the diagnostic procedures, maintenance of asepsis, bio-waste disposal etc. They will also be trained for field visits to counsel the subjects for screening and follow-up.

Teams offered training : [/read]


HPV prevalence Study (2009-2013)


Today, HPV infection is considered to be the major factor in cervical carcinogenesis. Since there was no documented data on prevalence of HPV in the community, we conducted a study to ascertain the prevalence of HPV infection in Tambaram and ChengelpetTaluks of Kanchipuram District, Tamilnadu, between 19.02.2009 and 31.12.2009.1525 cervical samples were collected and the overall prevalence rate of HPV is found to be 12.7%, the most common type being HPV 16(27%).

[read more]A follow up study to find the persistence of virus at one year interval was just completed and this will provide first such data in Indian population.137 samples have been collected (71% compliance for follow-up) out of which 38 (29.1%) are persistently positive for HPV infection. Genotyping of the positive samples showed type 16 to be the most common type.

Feasibility Study on USG Breasts as an aid in mass screening (2011)

A portable USG equipment has been purchased and a pilot program was completed at Pallikaranai screening clinic . All women between 30 and 65 years of age, attending the clinic are offered CBE (by MO) and USG breasts(by trained Radiologist) and findings recorded. A total number of 823 women were offered USG in the field clinic. Among them 650(77%) women were found to have normal/ benign breast changes and 183(22%) are found to have benign lumps. 7 cases were referred for further evaluation and were kept under follow up.

Satellite Screening Centers

The primary objectives are:



An organized screening, early detection and prevention program for cancers of the cervix, breast and oral cavity for women in VillupuramTaluk (Women population, 30-64 age group: n=1,04,040). As a prevention model for future, 3-dose HPV vaccination protocol will be administered to girls aged 13-18 in the families that participated in the program. Informed consent from participants (from parents in case of minor girls) along with necessary documentation of various particulars are mandatory. An independent cancer registration service in and around Villupuram district will also be integrated with the program for unbiased evaluation of the success of the program. A local office for field operations will be set up in proximity to the study area to oversee and implement the field activities. This includes execution, supervision and maintenance of log of field activities and periodic reporting to the central unit.

The Cancer Institute (WIA), Chennai, will be the central unit responsible for training of personnel on all aspects of the program and handling all referrals for appropriate management.
There are 11 taluks under Tirunelveli district. The estimated target population for cervical and breast cancer screening would be approximately 4,17,000 and estimated adult male smokers to be screened for oral cancer would be 4,00,000. The program is being carried out by the NGO Udhavum Ullangal under the guidance of Cancer Institute by a team trained at the Department of Preventive Oncology. The program is ongoing with as many as 10000 women benefactors so far.
SreeRenga Hospital, Chengelpet, as part of their healthy living initiatives to prevent NCDs has set up a Cancer Prevention and Early Detection Centre for common cancers including cervical, breast and oral cancers.The Centre will be in collaboration with the Cancer Institute (WIA), Chennai (State Apex Centre for Tamil Nadu) in all cancer related activities. A team of Gynecologist and Health workers/Nurses will be trained at the Department of Preventive Oncology, Cancer Institute (WIA) on awareness creation, counseling of subjects, basic screening procedures and management of pre-cancers for above mentioned cancers. The Cancer Institute (WIA) will undertake refresher training and continued guidance in the screening and awareness program.


Awareness programs on prevention and early detection of cancers are conducted by invitation through schools, colleges, Self Help Groups, clubs like Lions, Rotary etc. and NGOs across Chennai and other districts in Tamil Nadu.
Screening through Visual examination of oral cavity, Visual tests (VIA/VILI) and or cytology for cervix and Clinical Breast Examination are offered at the screening clinic/camp. Screened positive subjects are referred to the Screening OPD at Cancer Institute for further evaluation.
Breast and cervical cancer screening and appropriate follow up of asymptomatic women above 30 years of age is provided at the Institute twice a week.

All tobacco users are offered counseling on registration during survey, at the screening camp/clinic and referred to Tobacco Cessation Center at the Institute.

Clinical Services Offered At The Outpatient Clinic

Clinical Breast Examination for all women
Mammogram and Ultrasound breast as required
Breast Self-Examination Demonstration
Pap Smear for all married women
Treatment for pre-invasive cancers - Cryo, Leep, Cone biopsy, etc.
The test to detect HPV DNA is approved as a primary screening tool for and along with Pap-smear has an improved outcome. The Cancer Institute is one of the few centers which offer this special test.

Evaluation of Postmenopausal bleeding

Tumour markers for ovary and prostate cancer:

CA-125 and PSA respectively as and when indicated


Dr. J.S.Malliga

Head-in charge

Dr. Premila Grace

Medical officer

Dr. A.R.Sarthaj begum
B.S.M.S, MD(S),

Medical officer
G. Delmina Anitha B.Sc Social investigator
S. Karthika M.Sc Medical Social Worker
J. Cherryl Catherine Sharmila MSW Medical Social Worker
P. Vinotha +2, HDCA Data Entry Operator
M. Shakthipriya ANM
V. Priyadharshini ANM

Mission Statement

Accelerated Progress towards Cancer Control and Prevention

Preventive Oncology (Research Division) was started recently in the year 2012 with a goal of Research initiatives towards Cancer Prevention and Control.

The research set up is geared for Molecular approaches that can be effectively used for diagnostics and research purposes. The main focus of the division is translation of the scientific information towards reducing the cancer burden in the community. The department raises awareness and concern about cancer and believes and affirms its prevention and cure by early detection using molecular approaches. The scientific projects are aimed at identifying molecular markers that can aid in early detection, diagnosis of different cancers and help in cancer prevention. The department division focuses on multidisciplinary high quality molecular and clinico-epidemiological cancer research to determine the social, environmental and genetic factors underlying the high prevalence of certain important cancers like cervical, breast, oral and lung. The research initiatives are towards development of cost effective diagnosis and detection systems for their implementation in the hospital and community settings. The division is currently focusing on the clinical services pertaining to Human Papilloma virus diagnostics from the samples collected from the community and study of genetic susceptibility to Oral cancers with and without association to tobacco usage.

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