Lavasa Women’s Drive

I Can Certainly Prevent It!!
Some time back, as an Indus representative, we attended the briefing session for Lavasa Women’s Drive, country’s biggest all-women's car rally supported by Women's Cancer Initiative, Tata memorial hospital, Mumbai, Times Group and Western India Automobile Association (WIAA). The drive aims at creating cancer prevention awareness among people in a fun way.

I reached at the venue little early as I was new to the area and location where the briefing was being held (well, ok! Actually and honestly I wanted to grab the first row).
Standing at the entrance of the still closed auditorium, I looked on as several well dressed and impeccably groomed ladies stated to pour in. Big cars, branded bags, expensive accessories... clearly the crowd were a mix of upper middle to affluent class. But this was no glossy kitty party, rather a very serious and sombre issue and to my surprise they actually looked totally driven towards the cause and excited about being a part of it. Good going today’s women of substance!
Once settled in the auditorium (I did get the first row), a whole bunch of dignitaries came and graced the stage. The briefing session was attended by veteran of the fraternity likes of Dr. Shona Nag, Consultant Oncologist at Sahyadri and Jehangir hospitals, Pune, Gynaecologist Dr. Suchita Pate of Oyster and Pearl Hospital, Pune and a Mumbai-based renowned (and extremely witty) Gynaecologist Dr. Mukesh Gupta. They talked and discussed in length the commonest of all causes for cancer among women and how simple preventive measures like screening tests once a year can go a long way in early detection and cure.
Dr. Nag said that breast cancer incidence in India is indeed becoming exceedingly common and it is not something that can be swept under the carpet by ignoring it. She emphasised that breast cancer, if detected in its early stages, can be CURED in 80% of cases.
On a lighter note she asked women to “keep abreast with their breast” by learning to do a breast self-exam after the age of 20. Another funny but extremely apt slogan she shared was, “If only women paid as much attention to their breast as men do” left the crowd cheering and shouting in hilarity.
Dr. Pate took on cervical cancer. She also emphasised on the fact that both cervical and breast cancer can be prevented through awareness, screening and vaccinations. Also, she advocated the use of vaccine that is present in the market for cervical cancer prevention. This can be taken from the age of 9 to 45 in dosage form of 0 – 2 – 6 months. “A yearly pap smear test to detect cervical cancer apart from preventive measures like limiting multiple unknown sexual partners is also very important" said Dr. Pate.
Dr. Gupta focused on the preventive strategies, including primary and secondary prevention. "Primary prevention includes taking vaccines to prevent cervical cancer and modifying one’s erratic lifestyle. Wherein secondary prevention includes breast self-examination, Pap smear test for cervical and mammography for the early detection of breast cancer," said Dr. Gupta.
In a crowd of almost 400 women, how long can they just sit back and listen? And hence they began talking by putting up questions before the panellists. Relevant and basic questions like what age can one opt for vaccines to prevent cervical cancer, symptoms of cervical and breast cancers, frequency of taking pap smears test and mammography, and if heredity is a major cause in developing breast cancer popped in from every corner of the hall.
The panel replied to their queries in depth which in a nut shell meant that the key to escape cancer is to lead a moderate lifestyle, avoid junk food, limit alcohol (may be once a week), stick to a healthy diet and exercise regularly. Eating lots of fresh, uncooked vegetables and fruits (chiefly red and orange coloured ones) will help in escaping the malady.
Later after the serious stuff, woman jived on zumba, a dance form full of energy and vigour. Ladies let their hair down and participated in it full on!!
While coming out I overheard several women to go and get a pap test and mammo done ASAP. This says loud and clear that the purpose of this whole exercise of creating cancer prevention awareness is definitely being met. Such events and efforts DO make a difference.
All and all, the evening was full of information yet fun. Women gathered around to have a chit-chat near the refreshment counter. I walked away to the parking area as chai counter got closed long back.


  1. Prevention is better than cure!!!

  2. sure Nikita... you DID get the message clearly but the important thing is what you are doing to achieve it?

    The best possible way to catch diseases early is to go for preventive health checkups.

    Go for one, if you haven't taken any so far.....


  3. I like womens health checkup package

    1. That's great to know Nikita. But have you taken one?


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