Pioneer in Cancer care Dr. V Shanta passes away at 93


Dr. V Shanta, one of the most recognizable names in the Indian medical fraternity and the Chairperson of the Adyar Cancer Institute, breathed her last during the wee hours of Tuesday, at a private hospital in Chennai. She was admitted to the hospital, following complaints of chest pain on Monday night. Doctors attempted at angio procedure to revive her, however it did not succeed, it is learnt. 

According to those close to Dr. Shanta, she had been suffering from breathlessness over the last two days and had been fitted with a pacemaker long ago, owing to cardiac issues. It is also said to be certain that she was not infected with COVID-19, as she had not been meeting anyone over the last 9 months or so. 

She is remembered for making cancer care accessible to the masses in India and helping build, along with her mentor Dr. Krishnamoorthy, the Adyar Cancer Institute in Chennai from a 12-bed facility to a comprehensive cancer care center of global repute. The Cancer Institute has stood tall for its quality treatment at very affordable costs and free-of-cost treatment for the needy. 

Dr. Shanta was born on March 11th 1927 in Chennai, to a family of Nobel Laureates in Physics. Several of their family members have left an indelible imprint in various fields like science, engineering, history, music and social science.

Many from the medical fraternitty hailed her as one who lived her life for others, a healer for millions and a pioneer with an indomitable spirit. Some of the breakthroughs that she had brought about to improve cancer care in the country are said to be- duty exemption for cancer drugs, free travel for cancer patients in buses and trains, making cancer a notifiable disease in Tamil Nadu, first cobalt machine in India, first super speciality course in oncology in India, first cancer registry in India among others. 

Chess legend, Vishwanathan Anand had recalled on Twitter that his mother was among those who were treated by Dr. Shanta

Her mortal remains are placed at the Old Cancer Institute building for people to pay respects and the cremation is expected to take place at the Besant Nagar crematorium by 5pm Tuesday. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister has said that her mortal remains would be laid to rest with Police honors. 


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