Director, Tata Memorial Cancer Hospital, Mumbai
Profile by Dr. Jeanette Pinto
One of the most prominent and distinguished personalities among the Mangalorean community in Mumbai is Dr. Anil D’Cruz. He is the son of Joaquim D’Cruz and the late Cynthia nee (Fernandes) D’Cruz. The D’Cruz family since the mid-fifties had settled in Delhi. Dr. D’Cruz and his four siblings – brothers Prem, Dilip, Vivek, and sister Vinita were raised in Delhi, and are presently all abroad holding very important positions in their fields of work.
Armed with a Jesuit education at St. Xavier’s School, Delhi, Dr. D’Cruz graduated from St. John’s Medical College, Bangalore in 1984 and went on to complete his Masters in General Surgery at the Mumbai University. His wife, Dr. Manisha is a Pathologist, and his young sons, Rohan and Jason are building up their careers.
Presently, Dr. D’Cruz is the Director at the Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai, India and Professor and Surgeon in the Department of Head and Neck Surgery. He is also a Diplomate of the National Board, New Delhi. In recognition of his professional standing in the field of Surgery, he was awarded the Honorary FRCS from the Royal College of Surgeons, London.
To be heading the Tata Memorial Hospital is no mean task. The hospital situated in Parel, Mumbai, is a Specialist Cancer Treatment and Research Centre, closely associated with the Advanced Centre for Treatment, Research, and Education in Cancer (ACTREC). One of the fields of specialization of this hospital is in the treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (A.L.L). The hospital claims to treat and cure 99% of A.L.L. patients. This hospital is also one of the few in India to have a P.E.T. scanner.
Every year, nearly 30,000 patients visit the clinics from all over India and neighbouring countries. Nearly 60% of these cancer patients receive primary care, of which, over 70% are treated almost free of charge. Over 1,000 patients daily attend the OPD, nearly 8,500 major operations are performed, and 5,000 patients are treated annually with Radiotherapy and Chemotherapy. The Tata Memorial Centre is the national comprehensive cancer centre for the prevention, treatment, education, and research in cancer, and is recognized as one of the leading cancer centres in this part of the world.
As a youngster, Dr. D’Cruz enjoyed soccer and “playing the fool, little of everything”, he muses. In leisure moments, he enjoys reading and listening to music – oldies and western classical songs. Despite his hectic schedule, amazingly to has to his credit over 200 peers reviewed Publications and Chapters. He is an Editor of a two-volume book on Head and Neck Surgery, and also to be released Manual of Clinical Oncology and Hamilton Bailey Clinical Signs. He has delivered over 300 invited lectures and orations, and has been visiting Professor to several institutions, both nationally and internationally. He is a member of the Editorial Board of Head Neck Journals, and also is a reviewer for several scientific national and international journals; indeed, he is constantly globetrotting.
Dr. D’Cruz is a member of numerous professional bodies in India, namely, The Indian Society of Surgical Oncology, Association of Surgeons of India, Indian Society for Cancer Research, Indian Association of Surgical Oncology, Indian Society of Head and Neck Oncology, and the Action Council for Tobacco Control.
He inculcates in his students a high sense of dedication, enumerates many examples and adds: “the need to challenge the dogma is very important for a medical professional”. He strongly feels that doctors must update themselves on medical research, and tailor their patience accordingly. He also emphasized that students must go through the randomized control trials, otherwise known as evidence based medicine. He says, “a good doctor is one who combines his clinical experience with best external evidence, which combines with research.”
The Catholic Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mangalore, in 2014 presented the Rachana Award to Dr. D’Cruz in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the medical profession, and to society. At the Heroes of Healthcare International Lecture Series, Dr. D’Cruz advised GMU students: “to become a successful healthcare professional, the right attitude towards a patient is a must.” His powerful concluding remarks were, “Knowledge comes from research. You should be the doctors of the day than of the past.”
The Mangalorean community is proud of you, Dr. D’Cruz.