Incredible Story Of 7 Blind Women Who Detect Cancer Like A Boss

When God takes away one physical organ, he makes sure to give a heightened ‘sixth’ sense. In fact, more than being a God’s gift, this attribute should be credited to the determination of the physically challenged to train themselves to move towards a normal life. A blind, deaf or mute person can also contribute to the society. They demand to be given the required training and care to make them competent enough and stand shoulder to shoulder with others.

The National Association for Blind in New Delhi came up with a unique initiative on World Sight Day this year. Seven blind women were chosen to be trained to detect breast cancer by their hand. Today, these women are skilled enough to carry out manual breast cancer screenings very efficiently.

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Blind superpower!

It is no secret that blind people have a very strong sense of touch. This extraordinary ability was used by the trainers to give them breast cancer detection lessons. The strong sense of touch of these women helps them to find irregularities in the breast. This initiative can help the patients avoid radiation-based mammograms and get early diagnosis. Many times, the cancer goes undetected and it gets too late for recovery. Manual detection is an easy procedure and can be regularly done.

However, while the plan looks easy on paper, it is difficult to actually execute it due to the concerns of the patients. Not every patient would trust the blind detectors. Even the doctors were not completely sure about it initially.

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“We were contacted by Discovering Hands Germany in 2015 and they told us about the programme where blind women through a manual check-up can detect early signs of breast cancer. Along with Dr. Kanchan Kaur, who is the associate director at the Breast Services in Medanta Medicity, Gurgaon, I went to Germany to thoroughly check this system since we had our doubts about it. However, we realized that the blind women were conducting the examination in the same manner as medical professionals, but with more concentration and focus,” said Shalini Khanna, Director of NAB, in an interview with Hindustan Times.

Finding respect in the society 

The manual detection has now been implemented on some patients and has actually yielded positive results. The blind women know that they won’t be easily trusted by all. They have been trained to become friendly with the patients and properly tell them the entire examination procedure.

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“When we were going to the gynaecologists to sell this concept, they were very doubtful. They did not know whether it is possible or not. What is the accuracy of the check-up? So, it was a slow start. But, thankfully, the doctors and especially the oncologists are now believing in us,” said Shalini Khanna.

For most of the women, their physical disability had restricted their growth. Their parents used to keep them inside the house and avoid interacting with people. This initiative has come as a major boon and they have taken it up confidently.

One of the women, Neha Suri, says that she lost her husband in 2016 due to cancer. She decided to become self-dependent after that. The job has been a dream come true for her.

“Today I feel if I hadn’t done this project, I probably wouldn’t have been able to do anything in life. I am very thankful and my dream of becoming self-dependent has come true. I will now be able to give a good and respectful life to my son,” said Neha Suri, in an interview with Brut.

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