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Cancer crusader Dr V Shanta passes away at 93

Our Bureau Chennai | Updated on January 19, 2021

From a resident doctor, she rose to become chairperson of the Cancer Institute (WIA) Chennai

Cancer crusader and Chairperson of the Cancer Institute (WIA) Chennai Dr V Shanta passed away here on Tuesday. She was 93.

Shanta was undergoing treatment in a private hospital in Chennai.

In his condolence tweet, Prime Minister Narendra Modi wrote, “Dr V Shanta will be remembered for her outstanding efforts to ensure top quality cancer care. The Cancer Institute at Adyar, Chennai, is at the forefront of serving the poor and downtrodden. I recall my visit to the Institute in 2018. Saddened by Dr V Shanta’s demise. Om Shanti.”

Shanta graduated (M.B.B.S.) in 1949, followed by post graduation (M.D.) in Obstetrics & Gynaecology in 1955. In April 1955, she joined the fledgling Cancer Institute, which was established a year earlier by Muthulakshmi Reddy as a four-bed unit, as its Resident Medical Officer.

She has played an important role along with Dr Krishnamurthi, son of Muthulakshmi Reddy, 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.

From being a resident doctor to becoming its Chairperson , Dr Shantha’s journey was remarkable for several reasons and her contribution to the field of oncology, immeasurable.

Shanta received several national and international awards, including the Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan, Padma Vibushan and Ramon Magsaysay awards for her contribution to the advancement in management and control of cancer.

She has published numerous papers in national and international journals, contributed chapters in oncology books, delivered many prestigious orations and participated in many international and national conferences. Even during the Covid-19 times, she was actively overseeing the functioning of the institute, which is one of the oldest charitable centres of oncology in the country.

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Published on January 19, 2021
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