Cancer ,in the beginning of this century meant fear and death. In our country very few knew about Cancer, but for those who had the misfortune to see some one dear attacked insidiously, devoured slowly but surely, have had to witness the long – drawn – out agony of the last stages, except these, probably no one knew about Cancer. Vital statistics in our country was not accurate to know how many die of cancer every year.

In 1886 on the 30th of July , a girl was born in a
middle class family in a state called “Pudukottai” .
she was named Muthulakshmi.  One hardly realized
that she was Gods creation who would rise in this
world to fight Cancer.

Muthulakshmi went on to  become the First woman
in India to graduate in medicine in 1912. She
along with two Europeans founded the Women' s
India Association (WIA) in 1918. In 1927 she
became the first woman in the world to preside over
a legislative body. She was an active member in the
freedom struggle.

In 1922 Dr.Muthulakshmi Reddy detected cancer in
her sister's rectum. From  that day she stayed by
her bedside of agony till she passed away a year
later. This incident sparked of her involvement in
cancer and she proposed to build a cancer hospital
in Madras. She formed a Cancer relief fund in 1949
and with the support of the WIA she established the cancer hospital in 1954 in a small hut.

She made sure her son, Dr.Krishnamurthy , after completing his medicine in the US stay back in India and serve the cause of poor cancer patients. The rest is now seen in the form of one of the best  state – of – art Cancer hospitals in the world today.

The Cancer Institute (WIA) is a symbol of man’s eternal quest to conquer disease and an inspiration that reaches out to humanity.  

The Institute is spread over 9 acres in Chennai, South India. The hospital houses 423 beds of which 297 are free. Over 1,25,000 patients are seen annually. They are drawn from all over India, parts of South and South East Asia. Over 66% of them are indigent and are treated free of charge. The hospital has state- of- the- art facilities for diagnosis, evaluation and treatment of cancer as well as rehabilitation.

Living its mission of providing the state- of- the- art treatment to people with all types of cancers, the Institute is equipped with world class medical facilities. It houses a hospital, College of Oncological Sciences, an exclusive division for Preventive Oncology and a research center.