Expect students to take up healthcare entrepreneurship: Zoya Brar, MD, Core Diagnostics

Ms Zoya Brar, the under-30 managing director of Core Diagnostics, delivered a leadership address to students of Apeejay Stya University, Sohna in Haryana

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Gurgaon: Ms Zoya Brar, Co-founder and Managing Director of Core Diagnostics, delivered an address to 60 select students of Apeejay Stya University, Sohna Palwal Road, Sohna. The students, from the School of Pharmacy, were handpicked for their promising leadership skills and academic excellence. They were able to identify with Ms Brar and ask questions pertinent to the discussion.

Besides doing a short presentation on breast and lung cancer, Ms Brar laid stress on communication: “If you know what you should do about early detection, spread  the word. For instance, if one of you knows how to do a breast self-examination, show your friends how to. Ask your mums to go get a check-up. Breast cancer is the leading killer of women in our country, and it’s also the cancer that can be cured if detected early. We live in an age of communication, and health communication should form our major priority—whether you do it one on one, or organize a workshop, or motivate a whole bunch of your friends to be proactive about eating healthy or exercising. You must aim to become health ambassadors.”

IMG-20170209-WA0002Speaking at the event, Zoya Brar said: “Every single one of us has a friend or relative who has had cancer; worse, we all know someone who has died from it. In this context, we must look at two things: prevention and early detection. Prevention is simple, and most of you know what you need to do: eat healthy, exercise, rest and recuperate with sleep and downtime. Most importantly, at this age, you will probably want to ‘try out’ new things. Things like smoking or drinking. The downside to this is that these may develop into habits you find hard to break. And the truth is that these are carcinogenic, or cancer-causing. I’m not here to lecture you on what you should or shouldn’t do—I’m simply here to tell you to stop for a minute before you do anything at all and ask yourself a questions: ‘Will this be good or bad for my body?’ If the answer if the latter, then you know what you need to do.”

The students then asked Ms Brar to narrate her own entrepreneurial journey. “Before you embark on a venture, do your research. I spoke to more than 300 doctors before I started Core Diagnostics to understand the gap in the market. Healthcare entrepreneurship is a nascent field and I do hope some of you will enter it,” she said. She ended the speech with an offer of an internship to the students.

Last year, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) stated that by 2020, India is likely have over 17.3 lakh new cases of cancer and over 8.8 lakh deaths due to the disease. Currently, breast cancer is the highest recorded cancer, accounting for over 10% of all cancers. This is followed by lung and cervical. Breast cancer is also the highest detected cancer in women. Mouth cancer is the main concern in men.