CPAA: Cancer Patients Care & Cancer Patients Rehabilitation Centre in India CPAA: Cancer Patients Care & Cancer Patients Rehabilitation Centre in India
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Patient Care

CPAA's Patient Care Department renders a wide variety of help on the emotional, financial and medical fronts to cancer patients.

When a case is referred to CPAA, the journey starts with a counsellor's visit to the hospital or patient's home.  Our much experienced, professional counsellors act as virtual catalysts in making treatment effective.


Clearing the bottlenecks in making a connection with the right specialist/oncologist, co-ordinating appointments with treatment centres, finding boarding facilities for patients from out of Mumbai,
advice on hygiene and diet, stepping in with financial aid when necessary, providing nutritional supplements like Complan, helping with linen, clothing and food grains as and when it is called for, CPAA rises to every need of the patient.
 

Here, the less apparent needs are also addressed such as guidance on alternative therapies; help with filling in forms or the distribution of awareness literature. Our counselors reach out where few other organizations have ever considered important or necessary to extend a helping hand. Ambulance services for transportation from ones' home to a treatment centre, family support groups, playgroups and creativity classes for children-patients, co-ordinating prostheses (artificial body parts) and even rehabilitation of a patient rendered jobless due to long absence from the job or his/her family members to supplement the family income ... this assistance is rendered with humaneness and compassion.

At a more organized level, CPAA has launched many innovative schemes between a donor and beneficiary, such as the Adopt-a-Cancer-Patient scheme. Here the association goes beyond financial support. A fulfilling relationship is grown built on authentic updates on a patient's progress, health and well-being and letters of hope and encouragement exchanged between the two.  

CPAA also works as an important link in helping patients network with aid-giving organizations. The society guides patients on how to draft an appeal and address it to the appropriate forum. It also organizes medicines at subsidized rates through tie-ups with chemists and pharmaceutical companies. Today, CPAA manages 15 counselling centres in Mumbai, attending to more than 1,000 patients month on month. We have also initiated a ‘Home Care' programme for palliative patients and developed a force of 25 independent volunteers to assist CPAA workers.

We have also compiled and published a much needed cancer resource directory entitled Sahayata. To obtain copies call on 2494-8775 / 2492-4000 or email information@cancer.org.in |
View the Sahayata online

Accommodation Playgroup
Budgeted Aid Prostheses
Childhood Cancer Counselling | Counselling Schedule
Donations in Kind Special Investigations
Food Bank (diet supplements & food grains) Hospital Visits
Home Visits Volunteer 
Other Charitable Organisations  

Budgeted Aid

Cancer treatment can be a huge drain on family finances, even for the relatively well off. Through whatever limited funds we have, we try to disburse medical aid to as many patients as possible. We also find sponsors, help patients network with aid-giving organizations, guide them about circulating appeals in the proper channels, and organize medicines at wholesale rates through a tie-up with chemists and pharmaceutical companies.

For patients with a good prognosis , we have an Adopt-a-Cancer-Patient scheme, i.e., we try to find sponsors who donate Rs. 1,00,000 every year for the treatment of their adopted patient. The money covers: post-surgical rehabilitation; transportation; economic support for patients and their families; guidance on spiritual, emotional and psychological problems faced by the entire family; accommodation during treatment and follow up.

On adoption, the sponsor receives the case history, photograph and quarterly progress reports of the patient. CPAA also arranges meetings between the two if so desired. These meetings typically take place at one of the events periodically organised by CPAA. Time and again we have observed that the rapport established between sponsor and adoptee helps the patient combat the disease better.

All donations made to our organization are exempt from Income Tax under Section 80-G of the Income Tax Act (50% tax exemption).

All other patients are placed in the Aid-a-Cancer-Patient category. Based on the prognosis and the amount and kind of medicines needed, a monthly budget is determined, and this is guaranteed to the patient for the full duration of the treatment. This budgeted amount is not paid to the patient in cash, but goes primarily towards funding the prescribed medication. CPAA has made arrangements with chemists to provide medicines at concessional rates. The social worker decides with the patient which medicines can be supplied. The patient can then collect the medicines directly from this chemist on production of the prescription certified by CPAA. We will also, on request, order the medicines, which can be collected from the association offices the next day.

Since funds are limited, CPAA social workers help to raise additional funds through appeal letters, newspaper advertisements and magazine appeals.

>> View patient case files

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Donations in Kind

Money isn't the only way CPAA helps patients undergoing treatment. Patients coming from far flung locations expect to stay for 1-2 months and invariably end up staying much longer. Thus for patients who can or want to handle their own cooking, we arrange stoves and utensils for the duration of their stay.

Other necessities such as clothes, toys for children, blankets during the winter and umbrellas for Mumbai's torrential rains are also given on an individual basis.

Email us, if you would like to make a donation of clothes, toys, blankets, umbrellas, utensils and other utility items.

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Hospital Visits: List of Hospitals in Mumbai

No one enjoys being in hospital. Imagine then, if you will, how much worse it must be when you are poor, illiterate, and unable to understand what the doctor is saying in the few moments he spares you. Let's be honest. The sheer numbers our hospitals handle means that patients are often left feeling traumatized.

CPAA steps in to act as a buffer. We run Counseling cells at various hospitals in Mumbai, New Delhi and Pune and support the patients by filling in forms to reading test reports, to meeting the surgeon to understand the prognosis, recommended treatment and expected side effects and communicate this information to the family. We make sure the patients and their family, fully understand what is going to happen, so that they do not have to abandon treatment halfway due to miscommunication.

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Home Visits

A single visit to a patient's house can be very revealing. Often it throws light on problems that a patient will never mention, but which prevent the patients and their family from concentrating on fighting the disease. CPAA's role here is to identify the problems and help solve them, so that the only trauma the patient has to confront is the disease. Over the years, we have arranged jobs for immediate family members, education and even admission into boarding school or foster homes for siblings. The social stigma of cancer sometimes prevents such interactions, with patients telling us not to visit or to park the telltale van with CPAA markings at a distance from their home. In such cases we always respect their feelings.

At time even the best of treatments and whole-hearted efforts of a team of dedicated  doctors sometimes fails to cure a cancer patient and the medical fraternity is forced to say that further intervention is not possible. At such a time while some of the patients get admitted to hospices to be taken care of in their final days, some family members refer to take care of the patients at home.  These patients in an advanced stage of their disease may be subjected to nausea, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea,  bed sores, loss of appetite etc find it difficult to connect with doctors or care-givers. 

For such cases, CPAA has set up home care teams headed by our panel doctors who visit such patients at home. The doctor concerned interacts with the family members to assist them in taking care of their dear ones at home until death. The doctor is chosen so that the patients under his or her care live close enough so that they can be contacted in the shortest period of time in case of an emergency. The doctor becomes a part of the family and besides the medical intervention, is able to counsel the caregivers and the patient as the end approaches.

For Doctors involved in Home Care call 2492-4000 / 2492-8775 - Mumbai

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Liaising with other charitable organisations: List of Charitable Organisations in Mumbai

Much as we would like to cover all expenses for all those who approach us, funds are limited. Therefore, what we also do is help patients find sponsors, network with aid-giving organizations, and guide them in circulating appeal letters in the proper channels. Over the years, we have established a rapport with about several charitable trusts who help our patients with one-time lump sum amounts towards medical relief. The CPAA referral acts as an introduction and establishes the patients' bonafides. List of Charitable Trusts in Mumbai.

Are you a charitable organization willing to help CPAA help cancer patients? Click here.

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Accommodation: List of Budget and General accommodations in Mumbai

The majority of patients coming to Mumbai for surgery or post-surgical treatment (radiotherapy, chemotherapy, etc) need a place to stay while undergoing treatment. Anyone who has had to look for accommodation in this overcrowded city knows what an impossible task it can be. And remember, these people are poor, often illiterate, and ill. CPAA attempts to fill each family's needs as allowed by their budget.

Are you looking for accommodation while you are undergoing treatment in Mumbai? Refer to our Resource Directory for a list of addresses.

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Diet supplements and food grains from the Food Bank

CPAA assists patients and their families by providing nutritious food, biscuits, chocolate drinks, and food supplements. The Food Bank supplies rations in the form of food grains.

If you would like to make a donation to the Food Bank, click here. Donations made to our organization are exempt from Income Tax under Section 80-G of the Income Tax Act (50% tax exemption).

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Special Investigations

Sometimes, patients are asked to get special investigations (MRI, CT Scans, etc) done which may well be beyond their financial capacity. In such cases CPAA has often intervened to get the investigation(s) done free or at greatly reduced rates from various other hospitals and centres.

If you would like to sponsor a special investigation, click here. Donations made to our organization are exempt from Income Tax under Section 80-G of the Income Tax Act (50% tax exemption).

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Prostheses (artificial body parts)

Cancer surgery often requires the removal of the affected body part, which must later be replaced, so that the patient can lead a normal life. These replacement parts can be prohibitively expensive for the patients who have already used up most of their savings for treatment. Know more about CPAA's Breast Protheses unit. If you would like to make a donation towards providing prostheses for a cancer patient, email: manju.gupta@cancer.org.in  

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Volunteer Programme 

When CPAA first started its activities in 1969, most hospitals did not recognize the importance of volunteer counseling work that we offered. Over the past 30 years, the trend has now changed and most major hospitals now recognise the need to address the psychosocial issues of their cancer patients. In this direction, organisations such as our own have been asked to counsel patients undergoing treatment. Doctors now feel that there is a positive benefit in actively involving patients in their treatment by providing relevant information through volunteers. While every effort is made at hospitals to educate the patients on the disease, treatment, side effects, prognosis, morbidity and mortality, the patient is often not in a state of mind to absorb the information. Later when doubts surface, the patient is inhibited because he feels the doctor is too busy, the questions are too trivial or he is too embarrassed. And very important pieces of information do not get conveyed.

Our volunteers meet the patient at different stages of their treatment-diagnosis, treatment and follow up. They explain exactly what the treatment entails, its risks and benefits, cost, pain, change in appearance, hair loss, effect on social participation and professional activity, side effects, diet restrictions, care of affected parts, sexual problems. During the conversation, the patient is encouraged to open out and personal problems too are discussed. We are always careful to check with treating doctors on the information being given, so that the material is presented in an unambiguous fashion, clearing doubts along the way and in a manner that allows the patient to make a meaningful decision. A counselor must share concerns, help the patient to seek support and help and above all avoid misconceptions and erroneous advice.

The counselor's role is to give information taking into consideration the wishes of the patient and their caregiver, keeping in view their compulsions. The counselor acts as a bridge between doctor and patient and contributes by taking part throughout the course of the treatment. The ultimate decision about treatment is the patient's to make. A professional advisor with whom a close relationship is formed can be of help in a situation where otherwise the patient feels powerless to say yes or no or even ask questions.

CPAA runs a 3 day 'Volunteer Training Programme' every month to educate individuals working in the field, imparting basic information regarding cancer, highlighting psychological, social and spiritual problems faced and how to help patients and family members cope. Read more

To join the volunteer program email susmita.mitra@cancer.org.in

 

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