Dr. Anand Kumar Nayak recently joined the BTFCC as a consultant pathologist, and the addition of his expertise and capability to perform histopathology tests for cancer has already made an impact on the community and diagnosis of diseases.
Dr. Anand completed his MD in pathology at the Manipal College of Medical Sciences (MCOMS). Earlier this year, he joined the Binaytara Foundation Cancer Center and began offering histopathology examinations in July 2022 once the laboratory staff and equipment were established.
To establish the histopathology laboratory, the BTFCC sent Mr. Santosh Kumar Ray for two weeks of training at the Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital. Since his training, Mr. Ray has assisted Dr. Anand in processing histopathological samples from biopsies for the diagnosis of cancer and benign diseases. As a result, the BTFCC is the only institution in Janakpur, Nepal to offer histopathology services. Previously, biopsy samples were sent outside Janakpur, the nearest option being a driving distance of five to ten hours away, costing more time and money.
Histopathological examination includes the following: receipt of the sample at the BTFCC, grossing and processing, slide preparation and staining, and final reporting. Santosh Ray’s role at the laboratory includes the first few steps of the examination process.
After slide preparation and staining, Dr. Anand examines the slides to diagnose the disease.
He explained, “We are involved in the diagnosis of cancer, and if it is cancer, then what type of cancer? If it is not cancer, we find out what it is.”
Before the lab offered histopathological examination, some patients did not get an accurate diagnosis and thus, treatment.
“There was a 23-year-old female, and she had a lump, and for five years she was diagnosed with lymphadenopathy. For the treatment of lymphadenopathy, she was given antibiotics and painkillers on and off for five years. She was referred to me, and I did a procedure called FNAC. After FNAC, it was found that the patient was suffering from a disease known as pleomorphic adenoma, a benign condition. At the time [of her original diagnosis], histopathology service was not available.”Dr. Anand
Since Dr. Anand and Mr. Ray started at the BTFCC laboratory, there have been several impacts on care, diagnosis, treatment, and cost, and improvement in the quality of care offered at the center.
Anand explained the impacts in detail, stating, “As a pathologist, you need to be in continuous communication with the referring doctor. If a sample goes outside [Janakpur], there is every possibility that the pathologist will not communicate with the treating doctor. When I do it here, whenever I have any doubt, I talk with the surgeon, so it becomes more effective. There are four benefits, number one: the sample stays in Janakpur, saving time; number two: the patient cost is lower; and number three: when in doubt, I can communicate with the treating surgeon or patient. Lastly, since [the doctors] know that a pathologist is available, they have started to order pathological examination.”
The availability of pathological examination of biopsies through Dr. Anand and Mr. Ray’s addition to the laboratory gives doctors and patients more data and information to confirm their final diagnosis, avoiding incorrect diagnoses and treatment based on the doctor’s examination alone.
Dr. Anand has diagnosed many tuberculosis cases in Janakpur through FNAC and histopathological examination. Previously, tuberculosis patients would not have received a diagnosis right away, allowing the disease to progress, but now they receive early treatment and experience a faster recovery.
Anand enjoys working at the histopathology lab at BTFCC. He likes having the patient’s final diagnosis in his hands and knowing that he can impact their care and recovery.
The laboratory also offers screening tests for cervical cancer, bone marrow aspiration, and blood tests for leukemia. A flow cytometry test is needed to pinpoint certain types of leukemia, but the closest lab with that capability is in Kathmandu. The BTFCC is looking forward to bringing this test to Janakpur soon.
The BTFCC has been blessed by Dr. Anand and Mr. Ray’s work, and we look forward to the continued impact that they will have on the community.
The Binaytara Foundation Cancer Center in Nepal is a major global health project of the Binaytara Foundation, a 501(c)(3) global cancer nonprofit. Once the hospital is built, it is expected to provide treatment to approximately 25,000 new cancer patients a year. The Foundation, based in Issaquah, has the mission of improving access to cancer care in the US and globally. Click here to donate and help change lives!
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