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Apollo Hospital launches first Voluntary Support Group and a Dedicated Free Helpline Number for Colorectal Cancer Patients 

Apollo Hospitals, Navi Mumbai, a leading quaternary care hospital, launched a dedicated free support group and helpline number to support those with colorectal cancer and a Stoma Clinic. The CRC support group introduced by Dr. Rajesh Shinde, Consultant – GI(HPB & Colorectal Oncology) and Robotic Services, Apollo Hospitals, Navi Mumbai is the first of its kind in Maharashtra and it is free for all colorectal cancer patients. 

The CRC support group initiative is aimed to create awareness for colorectal cancer. This unique initiative is an Open Access group for the patients, their families and the caregivers. The 24-hour dedicated helpline is equipped with fully trained nurses, doctors and experts who will offer support and advice on CRC and living with a stoma and other queries such as nutrition, health, mental well-being, etc. The helpline and WhatsApp group will be accessible patients and families across the nation.  

The stoma clinic will provide care to patients with colostomy. Colostomy is opening the colon outside body to safe passage of excreta. . The stool drains from the stoma into a bag or pouch attached to the abdomen. The stoma clinic would offer training to manage a colostomy bag and pre-operative and post-operative counselling to patients and relatives to prevent them from being mentally affected due to the social stigma.  

Dr Anil D’cruz – Director of Oncology at Apollo Cancer Centers, Navi Mumbai said, “The global incidence of cancer is increasing exponentially over the years from 12 million in 2012 to 18 million in 2018 & 19.3 million in 2020. Cancer registries in India are showing a similar trend. The 5 most common cancers in India are amenable to prevention & early detection. Apollo Cancer Centers are giving a thrust to cancer care by initiating evidence based, organ site speciality services like the stoma clinic tumour boards backed by excellent infrastructure & clinicians of national & international standing to ensure the best outcomes for patients who come to us” 

Dr. Rajesh Shinde, Consultant – GI (HPB &Colorectal Oncology) and Robotic Services, Apollo Hospitals, Navi Mumbai, said, “Colorectal cancer is the most common gastrointestinal cancer in India. For the first time in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region, we are introducing an open-access (no cost) colorectal cancer support group and a dedicated helpline number. The support group will provide a safe space to voluntarily connect with others with colorectal cancer. Through the support group, patients can share their experiences, seek opinions or advice and also guide other patients if they have any query regarding the disease or the treatment.” 

Mr.  Santosh Marathe, Regional CEO – Western Region, Apollo Hospitals, Navi Mumbai, said:  Apollo Hospitals Navi Mumbai offers a comprehensive oncology service under one roof. The unit has been undertaking multiple complex procedures while adopting robotic techniques with assorted clinical outcomes. The unit has also invested in building capacity for stoma care, nursing and pick line expertise. Easing and improving a patient’s overall journey pre- and post-treatment is at the core of everything we do. Launching the entire ecosystem for colorectal cancer – the stoma clinic, a dedicated helpline, and support group of care for patients with colorectal cancer will ensure delivery of end-end patient care” 

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