The Tata Memorial Hospital is also popularly known as TMH. It is one of India’s oldest cancer treatments and the most sought-after cancer treatment hospital. The hospital has a specialist cancer treatment and research centre associated with the Advanced Centre for Treatment, Research and Education in Cancer (ACTREC). The centre is known as the national comprehensive cancer centre for the prevention, treatment, education and research in cancer. It is one of the leading cancer centres in India, offering free care to almost 70% of the patients. The hospital is well-equipped with advanced chemotherapy and radiology equipment and supports multiple clinical research programs.
Tata Memorial Hospital also provides patient care and services, including rehabilitation, physiotherapy, speech therapy etc. This hospital has innovative techniques and trained staff. Around 8500 operations are done each year, and 5000 patients are treated with radiotherapy and chemotherapy in multi-disciplinary programs conveying established treatments.
Currently, 65,000 new cancer patients and 450,000 follow-ups are registered annually at the hospital. Almost 60% of these cancer patients get first-hand treatment here. Around 70% of the patients are treated almost free of any charges at TMC. More than 1000 patients attend the OPD daily for medical advice, comprehensive care, or follow-up treatment. More than 6300 primary operations are performed annually, and 6000 patients are treated with chemotherapy and radiotherapy annually in multi-disciplinary programmes delivering established treatments. Keeping all these things in mind, Tata Cancer Centre, in association with the Department of Atomic Energy, the Government of India, has a significant expansion plan in different states in India. The Trusts has partnered with state governments in building state-wide cancer facility networks in Assam, Odisha, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. It has also opened 62 branches in different parts of country with the help of state government.
Apart from patient care and service, clinical research programmes and randomized trials contribute increasingly to improved delivery of care and the highest standards of work ethics. Surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy remain the most crucial treatment at Tata Memorial Hospital. It has the best facility for early diagnosis, treatment management, rehabilitation, pain relief and terminal care.
The use of advanced technology has made the treatment at TMH more comfortable. Concepts have changed in surgery, taking into account the biology of cancer. Radical surgeries have replaced more conservative surgery to increase the quality of life without compromising the total survival rate.
Radiation therapy has also made rapid advances with high technology, precision, computerization and newer isotopes therapy. Chemotherapy has played a significant role, with new drugs and clinical protocols investigated in clinical trials. The TMH was the first centre to initiate Bone Marrow transplants in 1983. This resulted from better total supportive care using newer antibiotics, nutrition, blood transfusion support and nursing. Over the last few years, another important area of progress has been radiological imaging techniques using ultrasound, CT Scanners, MRI and more dynamic real-time nuclear medicine scanning and the PET Scan. A “first in India” PET CT scanner has been procured to make this cutting-edge technology available for cancer management.
Pathology has progressed from basic histopathology to molecular pathology, emphasizing predictive assays for identifying the high-risk prognostic factors. NABL accreditation was awarded to the hospital in 2005 and renewed in 2007.
Supportive care in total rehabilitation and counselling of patients is widely recognized as an essential aspect of therapy. Excellent work has been carried out in rehabilitation, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, psychology and medical social work.
The Department of Surgical Oncology offers minor surgeries, skull-base procedures, major vascular replacements, limb salvage, microvascular surgery, and robotic surgeries for the best results. The department also conducts investigator-initiated and sponsored research studies from time to time. The hospital has expertise in treating acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).
The Department of Preventive Oncology of the hospital was started in 1993. It focuses on education in cancer prevention and early detection of cancer screening. Of the country’s 2–2.5 million cancer cases, more than 70% of patients are detected late and reported for treatment in very advanced stages. The emphasis on early detection will help deal with the large numbers and mitigate avoidable suffering and a financial burden.