Saturday, February 3, 2024

Apollo Cancer Centres Launches 'Unmask Cancer', an Initiative to Tackle Societal Biases Against Cancer Patients & Survivors

This thought-provoking campaign is to foster a culture of equality and empathy within the society

Navi Mumbai, 2 February 2024 – In a poignant exploration of life post-cancer, Apollo Cancer Centres (ACCs) proudly introduces 'Unmask Cancer,' a groundbreaking campaign aimed at unravelling the truth about cancer, dispelling myths, and fostering empathy within the society. As World Cancer Day approaches, ACCs takes a bold step to address the unfortunate reality of discrimination faced by cancer winners.

'Unmask Cancer' is the journey of cancer winners who, despite showcasing exceptional skills and qualifications, grapple with the societal biases stemming from their cancer history. The campaign sheds light on the pervasive fear of prejudice, pushing individuals to conceal this vital aspect of their lives, thus echoing the experiences of countless others facing discrimination.

In this pioneering initiative, the Indian Cancer Society-a support group dedicated to the cause of fighting cancer across India since 1951, echoes the intent behind unmasking cancer. It underscores the critical role of emotional well-being in the fight against cancer and address the societal biases faced by survivors. 

The 'Unmask Cancer' initiative unveils a thought-provoking social experiment video that delves into the profound consequences of discrimination across various facets of life. Featuring individuals from diverse backgrounds, including societal, corporate, and appearance-related biases, the video culminates with only a few brave cancer winners unmasking themselves due to the support they received from their families and friends.

To create awareness and drive a meaningful change within the society including the corporate world, ACCs takes 'Unmask Cancer' initiative to the corporate sector and society at large. In addition, a Cancer Sensitization Session led by oncologists and survivors will be introduced. The session will provide an opportunity to understand the disease and break the stigma, and nurture empathy. With an aim to empower participants and enthusiasts with practical skills for a positive change in life and within the society, the session will be available both online and offline..This engagement will help in fostering a culture of equality and empathy among the people.

Dr. Anil D’Cruz- Sr. Consultant & Director Oncology, Apollo Cancer Centres Navi Mumbai, said, "Our mission at ACC goes beyond providing world-class medical care. Emotional well-being of patients and their families is also an important aspect of cancer treatment. We believe in championing the rights of every individual, irrespective of their medical history. 'Unmask Cancer' is a testament to our dedication to creating a society that supports and uplifts cancer survivors."

Mr. Ronigas Orgin, Cancer Winner, said, "Hiding the history of my cancer due to fear of discrimination was a burden I carried for years. 'Unmask Cancer' allowed me and my family to share our story and inspire others to do the same. It's time for the society to recognize the strength and resilience of cancer survivors."

Emphasizing on the significance of this campaign, Dr. Rituparna Ghosh-Consultant Senior Clinical Psychologist, Apollo Hospitals Navi Mumbai, said, "Discrimination against cancer survivors not only hampers their professional and personal lives but it also poses a significant threat to their mental and emotional well-being. 'Unmask Cancer' is an unprecedented approach to sensitize society to this critical issue and pave the way for a more compassionate world."

Ms Preeti Phad, associated with Survivorship & Rehabilitation vertical at the Indian Cancer Society, said, "Psychosocial support is crucial in the journey even after cancer treatment. 'Unmask Cancer' aligns perfectly with our mission to provide holistic care, addressing both the physical and emotional aspects of survivorship."

Mr. Santosh Marathe- Regional CEO Western Region, Apollo Hospitals said, “Apart from the challenges faced by patients detected with cancer and their treatment, they also face discrimination in the society. Unmask cancer is a unique initiative to create awareness and encourage cancer winners to unmask and portray their triumph over cancer. This is a movement to change mind-sets both for the patients themselves and the society at large.”

This initiative serves as a powerful testament to ACCs’ commitment to life beyond cancer treatment. As the campaign unfolds, 'Unmask Cancer' promises to initiate a transformative dialogue, sparking empathy and paving the way for a world where cancer survivors can live, unmasked.

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