A mobile phone application to help cancer diagnosis and treatment has been developed by the doctors of Tata Memorial Hospital in Parel. The app, titled TNM app will help doctors, especially those in interior areas and poor nations, diagnose the severity of cancer immediately.
TNM Handbook is given to every resident doctor who joins Tata Memorial Hospital to correctly identify the stage of cancer in the patient they are treating. TNM stands for tumor, node and metastasis and is the main method to classify malignant tumors. Having the handbook helps young doctors. "Now, the need to carry the handbook has been eliminated as most people carry smartphones," said Dr Palak Popat, who was one of the developers.
The app is based on the cancer staging manual developed by the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) and help bring about standardization of cancer medicine practice across the country. TNM app can be downloaded free of cost and was tested in 19 countries prior to the launch. "Once downloaded, the app can be accessed offline. It is an interactive app where the doctor can feed the required information and within 30 seconds can get the stage of cancer," said Dr Meenakshi Thakur, one of the three radiologists who designed the app. "Family physicians can download this app and help families with newly diagnosed cancer, understand the situation," said Dr Popat.
The next feature of the app that is to be launched soon will have standard guidelines to educate doctors and empower patients. The feature will be added by February 2016. Given the surging cancer rates across India, two reference books were released at the ongoing International Association of Cancer Registries (IACR) conference in the city:
- The Cancer Atlas supplement highlighting region-wise spread of cancer. For instance, Mizoram has the highest cancer incidence rate and rural Maharashtra (Barshi) the lowest.
- A Hindi version of the World Cancer Atlas. "This is the first time that the Cancer Atlas has been published in Hindi and indicates the American Cancer Society's commitment towards cancer control in India," said Joannie Tieulent of ACS, which funded the translation project.