Senior oncologist and chairperson of Chennai-based Adyar Cancer Institute Dr V Shantha breathed her last at a private hospital on Tuesday (January 19) morning. She was 93.
Reports said Dr Shantha was rushed to Apollo Hospitals after she complained of discomfort. She died at 3.55 am after attempts by doctors to remove a block in a blood vessel failed.
Her body has been placed at the old building of the cancer institute in Gandhi Nagar. She had stepped into the same building as a resident medical officer six decades ago.
Born in 1927, Dr Shantha completed her MBBS from Madras Medical College in 1949. She later specialized in gynaecology and obstetrics.
In 1954, she joined the Adyar Cancer Institute, founded by Dr Muthulakshmi Reddy, one of the first women graduates in medicine in the country and a legislator.
She became a medical officer in 1955 after completing her post-graduation in medicine, and later studied in Toronto and the UK in advanced cancer care.
She dedicated her life to cancer research and is known for making cancer treatment affordable and accessible to patients.
Her role was instrumental in the development of the 12-bed cancer hospital in 1954 into a full-fledged institute with 423 beds and state-of-the art facilities today.
She is a recipient of several awards including the Padma Vibhushan and the Ramon Magsaysay Award.