Dr V Shanta, renowned oncologist and pioneer in cancer care, passes away in Chennai

Dr V Shanta, renowned oncologist and pioneer in cancer care, passes away in Chennai
Dr V ShantaTOI
Chennai, Veteran oncologist V. Shanta who headed the Cancer Institute (WIA) here, popularly known as Adyar Cancer Institute died at a private hospital on Tuesday early morning.

A Padma Vibuhshan, Padma Bhushan, Padama Shri and Ramon Magsaysay awardee Shanta, 93 was admitted to a private hospital on Monday night as she was unwell.

Her end came on Tuesday early morning.

Expressing shock at Shanta's death, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K. Palaniswami said with her dedicated service she expanded and moderninsed the hospital that was started with 12 beds.

The hospital gave free cancer treatment for the poor, the Chief Minister said.

He said Shanta was instrumental in creating public awareness on the importance of periodic testing for detection of cancer.


Palaniswami said the Tamil Nadu government honoured Shanta with Avvaiyar Award in 2013.

Terming Shanta's death as an irreplacable loss for medical fraternity and Tamil Nadu, Palaniswami said she will be given police salute at time of her final rites.

Condoling Shanta's demise PMK Founder S. Ramadoss said when it comes to cancer the name that immediately comes to our mind is Shanta.

Born into a distinguished scientific family - her immediate grand uncle (C.V.Raman) and uncle (S. Chandrasekar)- Noble Laureates.

She graduated (M.B.B.S.) in 1949, D.G.O. in 1952 and M.D, in Obstetrics & Gynecology in 1955.

In April 1955, she joined the fledgling Cancer Institute, established in 1954 by the Womens' Indian Association Cancer Relief Fund, as its Resident Medical Officer.

PMK's Ramadoss said Shanta joined the Cancer Institute preferring over the Assistant Surgeon's Post in the Women & Children's Hospital, Madras, to which she had been selected by the Madras Public Service Commission.

Since then, Shanta's entire professional life was dedicated to the mission of organising care of cancer patients, the study of the disease, its prevention and control, the generation of specialists and scientists in different aspects of Oncologic Sciences.

She has played an important role along with Dr. Krishnamurthi in the development of the Cancer Institute (WIA) from a cottage hospital of 12 beds to a major comprehensive Cancer Centre of national and international stature. She has played a pioneering role in all the achievements of the Institute.

Shanta was on WHO Advisory Committee on Cancer till March 2005.

She was also Convener of the State Advisory Board on Cancer.

She has been the Chairman of the INDO-US Collaborative Group on Lymphoid Neoplasias (Indian Chapter), member of many ICMR Committees, member of the ICMR Task Force on Registries and member of the Syndicate of the Anna University.

She was President of the Indian Society of Oncology (88-90), President of the Asian & Pacific Federation of Organisations for cancer control (97-99) and President of the 15th Asian & Pacific Cancer Conference (1999). She has participated in a number of Scientific International Collaborative Programmes.

According to the Cancer Institute, Shanta has published over 95 papers in national and international journals, contributed chapters in Oncology books, delivered many prestigious orations and participated in many international and national conferences.

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