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Cancer diagnosis, treatment to get easier with this mobile app

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Cancer diagnosis, treatment to get easier with this mobile app

| Oct 10, 2015,

MUMBAI: Doctors of Tata Memorial Hospital in Parel have developed a mobile phone application (app) to help cancer diagnosis and treatment.

The app, titled TNM app, will help doctors, especially those in interior areas and poor nations, diagnose the severity of cancer immediately.

Every resident doctor who joins Tata Memorial Hospital is given a TNM Handbook to correctly identify the stage of cancer in the patient they are treating,'' said Tata Memorial Hospital director Dr Rajendra Badwe.

TNM stands for tumour, node and metastasis and is the main method to classify malignant tumours.

With 65 types of cancers, it is not possible for doctors to remember various permutations and combinations. "Having the handbook helps young doctors. Now, the need to carry the handbook has been eliminated as most people carry smartphones,'' said Dr Palak Popat, who was one of the developers.

Dr Badwe said the app will help bring about standardization of cancer medicine practice across the country.

The app is based on the cancer staging manual developed by the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC).

"Once downloaded, the app can be accessed offline. It is an interactive app where the doctor can feed the required information and within 30 seconds can get the stage of cancer," said Dr Meenakshi Thakur, one of the three radiologists who designed the app.
The app can be downloaded for free by doctors across the world. It was tested in 19 countries prior to the launch.

"Family physicians can download this app and help families with newly diagnosed cancer, understand the situation," said Dr Popat.

Incidentally, the app will soon get a feature that patients and their relatives would find extremely useful. "The next algorithm will have standard guidelines. It will educate doctors and empower patients. It should be added by February 2016," said Dr Badwe.

Given the surging cancer rates across India, two reference books were released the ongoing ongoing International Association of Cancer Registries (IACR) conference in the city:

* The Cancer Atlas supplement highlighting region-wise spread of cancer. For instance, Mizoram has the highest cancer incidence rate and rural Maharashtra (Barshi) the lowest.

* A Hindi version of the World Cancer Atlas. "This is the first time that the Cancer Atlas has been published in Hindi and indicates the American Cancer Society's commitment towards cancer control in India," said Joannie Tieulent of ACS, which funded the translation project.

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