As part of the 'World Head and Neck Cancer Day' which fell on July 27, Shah is visiting the HNRF from August 1-4 to help raise the bar of cancer care even higher. He holds the Elliot Strong Chair in head and neck cancer, and has been the Chairman of the Head and Neck Service at MSKCC for 23 years.
Mouth and throat cancers are the most prevalent types in India, which predominantly affect males.
The HNRF has a state-of-the-art oncology department offering advanced care using three main modalities surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy. It also has the one of the best rehabilitation facilities in the country.
"Medicine is changing. The evolution of medicine has moved from general hospitals to speciality hospitals to centres of excellence which focus on the one entity they are doing best. The HNRF's two new speciality clinics Advanced Head and Neck Cancer Clinic and Thyroid and Endocrine Tumour Clinic are vivid examples of it," said Shah.
He added that there is no disease today that can be treated by only one doctor and in cancer treatment, one needs a radiation oncologist, medical oncologist, nursing support and a good rehab team, among others.
All these can be provided for every disease in every hospital so the patients don't have to go back and forth for their treatment.
The Director of Oncology at HNRF, Vijay Haribhakti, said that with Shah joining the hospital's global panel, his expertise will greatly benefit the patients.
Shah will be the main course teacher for a continuous medical education on thyroid cancer scheduled at the HNRF on Saturday-Sunday, and the two new speciality clinics mentioned above have been launched in his presence, said Haribhakti.
He added that the Advanced Head and Neck Clinic will cater to a large number of patient needs, regardless of where they have received initial treatment, while the Thyroid and Endocrine Tumour Clinic will cater to a highly specialised group of patients.
Discussing the short stay programme at the HNRF, Shah said that keeping a patient in the hospital for 2-3 nights is unnecessary, as being hospitalised for too long makes them sick.
"Hospital is the worst place to be if you don't have to be there. We need to change the mentality of the doctors and counsel the patients. The purpose of a short stay programme is to stimulate the patient at each stage to get out of hospital, rather than staying in it," Shah urged.
( With inputs from IANS )