When the Rotary Club of Colombo, Sri Lanka, launched the National Cancer Prevention and Early Detection Centre in 2004, the clinic operated in a small, rented house staffed by a volunteer doctor and two nurses. Services were basic but effective – physical exams and ultrasound to detect breast cancer and pap tests to screen for cervical cancer. All services were free, and word spread fast among the lower-income patients the centre hoped to attract. Run in partnership with the National Cancer Control Programme of the government’s Ministry of Health, it was (and still is) the only national facility dedicated to the early detection of three of the more treatable cancers: breast, cervical and oral.
(From the February 2016 issue of The Rotarian.)