CHENNAI: To promote self-breast examination and breast awareness, a cancer centre in the city has launched an initiative called ArtCan. Eight steps of self-breast examination have been depicted in eight mural artworks. Each frame reflects the story of a woman who discovered this condition while performing a self-breast examination, acted on time and defeated cancer. These eight steps have also been depicted in a book format called Chitra Sutra.
The artist behind this initiative, Adarsh tells DT Next, “There are a lot of breast cancer awareness videos and messages and most of them might not stay in people’s minds. But if we spread the message through art, people will notice and remember it. I have used acrylic on canvas to create this series.”
Dr Manjula Rao, Consultant, Breast Oncoplastic Surgeon, Apollo Proton Cancer Centre tells us, “The number of breast cancer cases is rising steadily; it is the most common cancer in the world. In India, 60 per cent of cancer are diagnosed in locally advanced or advanced stages, whereas, in the West, only less than 10 per cent of the cases are detected in the advanced stages. There is better awareness in the West and also they have a national screening programme. In India, we don’t have any screening programmes. So, we have to promote awareness regarding breast health. There is a lot of stigma around breast cancer and even, around the breast as an organ.
“Art is a great medium that touches many people. So, we thought if we blend art with a relevant topic, it will reach a maximum number of people. Women should be aware of their breasts — once a month, they should examine their breasts so that they will know what is normal. So, if they find any abnormalities, they can consult a doctor immediately.” The doctor adds that this initiative will encourage people to have a dialogue around this topic.