Biocon observership

We got an opportunity to be a part of a wonderful project initiated by the prestigious Biocon foundation which joined hands with KLE institute to bring about screenings for oral, cervical and breast cancer in the city of Bangalore. On the first day we were introduced to the various steps of the screening and attended an orientation by Dr Praveen. Dr Praveen and his team left no stone unturned to educate us and make us understand the entire process. Following the orientation we had camps every alternate day where we would screen on an average 50 patients per day for oral, cervical and breast cancer. For the camp a team of 5 interns, 1 dental doctor from KLE institute and 1 PG from KLE institute came together with three doctors from Biocon foundation and a BPAC member to carry out the screening smoothly and efficiently. The screening camps were for a target population of Pourakarmikas, the people who sweep and keep the roads clean in Bangalore city. On the days we didn't have camp we used to cross check patient data, perform data entry and upload the data on the database interface along with handing over the slides with smear and brush cytology to Pathology for the reports. For every patient we recorded their personal information, vitals, habit history and lesions or masses if any. We as a team made sure to educate the patient and to persuade him/her to come back for follow ups, especially if we recorded anything suspicious. We also were introduced and got to use the autofluorescence probe which acts as an adjunct in detecting malignant lesions from non malignant lesions based on the loss of fluorescence from the dysplastic cells. Over all it was a great learning experience. Not only did we learn many aspects about premalignant oral lesions, we got an over all idea about cancer detection, PHC screenings, learnt patient management, data handling and basic Kannada.