Dr Shanta had complained of discomfort and pain in the chest on Monday night and was rushed to Apollo Hospitals. The doctors at the hospital said that she had a block in the blood vessel that could not be removed and she died at about 03.55 am on Tuesday.
Sources from the Cancer Institute said that her body was moved to Old Building of the Cancer Institute in Canal Bank Road in Adyar. She had joined the Cancer Institute about 66 years ago as the resident medical officer.
Veteran oncologist Dr Shanta, dedicated herself towards making cancer care accessible and affordable for all. She had completed her MBBS at Madras Medical College and had joined the Cancer Institute alongside Dr S Krishnamurthy later. She lived within the hospital premises and was active even during her last days, despite minor ailments and suffering from stroke some years ago.
The setting up of first cancer registry in the country, screening programme for cancer patients in India and first multi-disciplinary tumour board care are some of her major contributions to the cancer care in the country. She had also served as a member of the World Health Organization's Advisory Committee.
She advocated early detection of cancer and believed strongly that it is curable. She was awarded with Magsaysay Award, Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan by the Government of India.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled the death of Dr Shanta. "Dr V Shanta will be remembered for her outstanding efforts to ensure top quality cancer care. The Cancer Institute at Adyar, Chennai is at the forefront of serving the poor and downtrodden. I recall my visit to the Institute in 2018. Saddened by Dr. V Shanta’s demise," he said in a tweet on Tuesday morning.