Dr. Puneet Gupta of My Himachal featured on TOI

Dr Puneet Gupta, 42, India’s first certified cancer specialist and currently attached to the Indraprastha Apollo hospital, has taken upon himself the task of making cancer therapy affordable to every common man in the country.

His take on the subject: With the latest medical care, detection machines and screening instruments, including mammography machines, PET scan, cancer patients in the country should get equal, if not better, treatment than those in the US, and at affordable prices.

“We have to look into the physical, mental, social, economical and spiritual aspects of a cancer patient before treating him so that we doctors are able to deliver in a comprehensive way,” Dr Gupta says.

The first doctor in India who has done an MD, DNB and DM in oncology — all certified by the Medical Council of India – Dr Gupta is also the first Indian to deliver trans-arterial chemotherapy by using arterial electronic pump and to use latest targeted monoclonal antibody therapy for head and neck cancer.

A Padmashree hopeful, Dr Gupta has under his belt a string of awards, including Leading Scientist of the World 2004, Certificate of Merit Award, Glory of India 2007, Vijay Shree 2005, and Indira Gandhi Shromani.

A practitioner of synchronous chemo radiation therapy and organ sparing technique, Dr Gupta says, the Indian way of treating cancer is the best in the world now, as in the US the method of treatment is predominantly modern. But in India the approach is total cancer care.

Earlier, one had to depend on the US for drugs to treat cancer which was unaffordable. However, the same drugs are available now here at reasonable prices. For example, persons suffering from lung and head-neck cancer bank upon Geftinib capsules, hard to come by in India till recently. However, it is now being made available here by the drug company NATCO.

Multiple Myloma (bone marrow cancer), which the former PM Chandrasekhar was suffering from, can now be treated with an injection with no wastage, whereas 60 per cent of the US-made injection goes waste, says Dr Gupta.

A member of various national and international cancer bodies, Dr Gupta also wants to be an effective link between the drug industry and cancer patients.

It is trailblazers like Dr Puneet Gupta who can lead the way to making India self-sufficient and a force to reckon with.

Dr. Puneet Gupta is Vice President of India chapter of My Himachal