Cancer Care Association- Sri Lanka

"Whoever would tend to me, should tend to the sick."- Lord Buddha


Dr.Samadhi rajapakse

Puja activity At Weduwa monastery,Koggala Sri lanka 16_10_2012

by Dr.Iresh Jayaweera

Weduwa monastery is situated in a picturesque location adjoining the Air strip of Sri lanka Airforce – Koggala. Surrounded by the lagoon it provides a calm and relaxing environment to the meditating monks.

CCA organized its october puja activity here with the participation of its loyal membership and patients from the oncology unit of Teaching hospital karapitya.

Puja activity was conducted by Honorable Dr.Samadhi Rajapakse.

Line up of events

Buddha Puja,Kapruk puja,Chanting,Pirith,Meditation and blessings for cancer patients followed by refreshments.

A large number of patients participated for the event with a crowd around 200.


Here are some captions….

World Palliative Care Day 2012-SLMA Lecture by Dr.Samadhi Rajapaksa

World Palliative Care Day – 2012

“Living to the end: palliative care for an ageing population”

12 OCTOBER 2012 ; FROM 9 AM TO 1.30 PM;


National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP) of Ministry of Health in collaboration with Sri Lanka Medical Association has arranged an advocacy programme to commemorate ‘World Palliative Care Day – 2012’.

“Palliative care is an approach that improves the quality of life of  patients and their families facing the problem associated with life-threatening illness, through the prevention and relief of suffering by means of early identification, impeccable assessment and treatment of pain and other problems, physical, psychosocial and spiritual.” (WHO)

Please contact the NCCP or the SLMA to register for participation.


Time Topic Lecturer
9.00 – 9.05


Prof. Vajira Dissanayaka

President , SLMA9.10 – 9.20

Opening Remarks

Dr.Neelamani Paranagama


Director / NCCP9.20 – 9.30

Opening Remarks

College of Oncologists9.30 – 9.40

‘Holistic approach in delivery of Palliative Care’

Dr. Suraj Perera


Consultant Community Physician

National Cancer Control Programme   Session 1 :  ‘Palliative Care an Essential Component in Health Care Delivery’

Chairpersons: Dr. Eshani Fernando, Deputy Director, National Cancer Control Programme & Dr.B.J.C. Perera President Elect SLMA

9.40 – 10.00“ Womb to  Tomb : The journey  of  life”Dr.Udayangani Ramadasa

Consultant Physician with Post Graduate Diploma in Palliative Care

10.00 – 10.20“Palliative Care for Cancer Patients “Dr.N.Jeyakumaran

Consultant Clinical Oncologist

TH – Jaffna

10.20 – 10.40″Living to the end: palliative care for an ageing population”.Dr.Dilhara Samaraweera

Consultant Physician with Post Graduate Diploma in Geriatrics

10.40 – 11.00Tea Session 2 :  Strengthening Palliative Care for Cancer Patients in health care settings


11.00 -11.15Palliative Care for  Breast Cancer PatientsDr.Sujeewa Weerasingha

Consultant Oncologist

11.15 – 11.30Palliative care for  Cervical Cancer patientsDr.Kanishka Karunaratne

Consultant Gynaeoncologist

11.30 – 11.45Supportive care for a patient with advanced stage Oral Cancer’


Dr. Suresh Shanmuganathan

President, Sri Lanka Dental Association (SLDA)

11.45 – 12.00

Pain relief in palliative care

Dr.Rohini Ranwala

Consultant Aneasthetist, National Hospital

12.00 – 12.15

Nurses role in palliative care

Mrs. Amarasingha

President, Sri Lanka Nursing Association (SLNA)

Session 3 :  Palliative care beyond health care settings


12.15 – 12.30

‘Supportive care services available in the community’

Dr.Shiromi Maduwage

Consultant Community Physician

Directorate of YEDD

12.30 -12.45

‘ Home based palliative care’ – The initial experience

Dr. Samadhi Rajapaksha

Founder, Cancer Care Association

12.45 – 1.00

The success story of Community Based Palliative Care Kerala, India – My observations

Ms. Lalitha Meegoda

PhD Student in Palliative Care Nursing

1.00 – 1.30Discussion



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‘Dr Samadhi Rajapaksa is a prominent social activist’–Prof.Carlo Fonseka

Anti- tobacco lobby protest movie with smoking scene


Several organisations in the forefront of the anti-tobacco campaign voiced disapproval about the alleged depiction of smoking and liquor consumption scenes (uncensored) in a Sinhala film being screened islandwide.

The National Authority on Tobacco and Alcohol (NATA), following objections, is planning to request the Censor Board and Arts Council either to delete the scenes or run health risk and warning messages provided by NATA at the bottom of the screen during the entire length of the smoking or drinking scenes.

NATA issued new guidelines to be followed by television channels regarding airing of programmes depicting smoking and drinking scenes from September 1, 2011.

This replaced the mosaics used earlier to cover such scenes.

Broadcasters were instructed to either delete such scenes or carry messages warning of the dangers and ill-effects of tobacco and alcohol when such scenes were aired.

According to NTCA Act No 27 of 2006, advertising, promotion and sponsorship of tobacco products and portrayal of smoking and alcohol use in public (either directly or indirectly) is prohibited.

However, there is an ongoing debate on whether such guidelines are applicable to films screened at cinema halls.

NATA chairman Prof Carlo Fonseka said irrespective of what the law says, there was a moral obligation on the part of both authorities and artistes to ensure that such scenes do not promote tobacco and alcohol use.

Prof Fonseka said he received a letter of protest from the Cancer Care Association Head and National Cancer Institute medical officer, Dr Samadhi Rajapaksa who is a prominent social activist.

“The letter was taken up at our board meeting and we decided to forward a request to the Censor Board and the Arts Council on the matter. We also decided to forward a copy to the Attorney General seeking his observations and recommendations,” Prof Fonseka said.

Meanwhile, Dr Rajapaksa said he decided to send a letter of protest to NATA after watching the film during its maiden screening recently

Cancer Awareness and Health Education program on 29th July 2012

By Dr.Iresh Jayaweera

Dear blog viewers,sorry for the long delay in updating the cancercaresl blog.

CCA has a sub committee for Cancer awareness and health education.A program for cancer prevention and to increase awareness of the general public was held on the Sunday the 29th of July at Wethara.Event was organized with the help of Bodhu Pubudu organization a local body in the area.

Increasing awareness is always help to prevent cancer as well as early detection which in turn help to cure the deadly disease.With the above aim our president Honorable Dr.Samadhi Rajapakse chaired the program.Around 100 people participated for the program with representations from various organizations like Mahila samithiya etc.

A lecture followed by a discussion delivered by our president..

Main points highlighted,

Life style changes for the prevention of cancer-Stop smoking and beetle chewing etc,Stop use of artificial chemicals for food preparation,value of becoming a vegetarian and the re-introduce the traditional life style of ancient sri lanka.

Effects of Passive  smoking and environmental pollution.

Main types of cancer and the causes and how to avoid.

And beetle as the main cause of oral cancer,and removal of aricanut and tobacco from the the dehath vattiya in religeous activities to protect venerable monks.Aricanut is widely used by beetle chewers now considered as a cancerous food.

How to do self screening for breast cancer.And the importance of the well woman clinic and the pap smear.

Leaflets were distributed among the participants and reading materials/booklets were donated to the local organizations. Chief incumbent monk of the local temple was present at the event,and he highly valued the activity.

Also the social and moral values mentioned in the  Dr.Samadhi’s Lecture was hi lighted.

Here are some of the captions…

Theruwan sarani!


Anurapura Vandana 2012

By.Dr Iresh Jayaweera ,President CCA-Galle Branch

Cancer care association organized a pilgrimage to Anuradhapura on 29th June to 1st of July.Being an organization with a Buddhist Background CCA render its services to all patients immaterial of their religion or race.One of its main objectives is spiritual development of its membership.This pilgrimage was organized to improve Metta Karuna Muditha Upekka and  Shraddha of our membership.

Dr.Upul Ekanayake,Consultant Oncologist from Teaching Hospital Karapitiya and our leader Honorable Dr.Samadhi Rajapkasa organized this highly meritorious activity.

A group of 101 people from Galle joined members of Colombo and Anuradhapura making a total Crowd of 175.The journey started around 3 am on 29th June from Galle.After coming to Colombo the lucky crowd got the chance to worship the Sacred Relics-Keshadhathunwahanse at Dr.Samadhi’s Place.And Journey restarted around 6 am from Homagama.

Once the group reached Anuradhapura initial activity was to visit the Cancer Care Hospice at Kurundankulama.

CCA members visiting the Hospice

The Buddha statue was relocated on the newly built Mal asanaya in the New shrine room with the participation of the members with great honor

Worshiping Lankaramaya

Then Atamashtana Vandana Journey started at 3.oo pm from Lankaram Temple and proceded to places of the Abhayagiri Monastery.

Places including the Dane salawa(dining hall),Eth Pukana and the great Sandakadapahana  of the ancient Abhayagiri Monastery were showed to us.

After a good meditation session at Samadhi Buddha Statue group visited Jethawana pagoda .Aba(Gingerly Oil) lamps made out of King coconut were offered to Lord Buddha ending up with chanting of a Pirith Sutta.

The program for the day finished with visiting Thuparamaya(Sri lanka’s first Pagoda).After offering flowers group chanted Karaniya Metta sutta according to the guidance given.

After having dinner at around 10 pm after long happy day the group had a time to rest.

Next day Kiripindu (Milk Rice) was prepared by members in a special way during   chanting of Qualities of lord Buddha(Budu Guna).The prepared rice meal was arranged in to 9 pathra(containers) and covered with silver and gold sheets and offered to Jaya siri Maha Bodhi with great respect.A budu perehera was arranged for the offerings.

Milk Rice Puja to Jaya Siri Maha Bodhi

After Observing Sil at the Jayasiri Maha Bodhi the group had the Heel dane offered by members of Army.

Heel Dana

Next was a valuable sermon by Most Ven.Mankadawala Sudassana Thero on the Topic of sathara sathipattana and Meditation.

Sermon by Ven.Sudassana Thero

After lunch there was a Dhamma dicussion by Ven.Udugama Sarananda thero and evening members gathered to prpare the Owshada(Medicinal Herbs)Puja and Pahan Puja.

Preparation of Medcinal Gilanpasa
Kapruk Puja
Sacred Ruwanveliya pagoda after kapruk Puja
Dethis Maha Purushalakshana Puja
Puja Offerings….
Dehismaha Purushalaksha Vandana by Ven.Udugama Sarananda Thero

on the 3rd day group gathered near Mirisawetiya pagoda for an ‘Adhisthana puja’.

Offerings to Mirisaweitiya Pagoda

After worshiping Mirisawetiya Pagoda with wishes to Long last the Buddha Sasana the pilgrimage came to an end with  a brief punyanumodana by Honarable Dr.Samadhi Rajapaksa.Mr.Lokuge and Dr.Upul Ekanayake thanked dr.samadhi for organizing such a great meritous activity on behalf of the crowd.

Me siyalu pin oba samatath anumodhan wewa!!!Sadhu ! Sadhu!

We look forward to organize an even better program next year.Dethis Maha Purusha Lakshana Awshada Puja will be an annual event from this year on wards happening on 30th June every year.

Want to participate? Join CCA today!

Theruwan Sarani!

Want to watch all the Photos of the Pilgrimage? Click here

CCA activity against Smoking….Pictorial Health Warnings….

One of main activities of CCA is the prevention of cancer by increasing awareness among general public.Tobacco use is one of the main risk factor for cancer in Sri lanka.And  smoking is a preventable risk factor.CCA president Dr.samadhi Rajapaksa is working towards this pictorial health warnings with the Jeewaka Foundation the main NGO against Smoking of Tobacco in Sri lanka.

The article in daily news…..

his is how a cigarette packet should look in the future – Deputy Health Minister Lalith Dissanayake, NATA chairman Prof Carlo Fonseka, CCA chairman Dr Samadi Rajapaksa and actor Roshan Ranawana hold a replica of a cigarette packet covered with graphic pictorial health warnings at a media workshop on tobacco control organized by the ‘Jeevaka Foundation’. Picture by Nissanka Wijeratne…l

Puffers beware:

Pictorial warnings on cigarette packs

Tobacco use kills one person every six seconds:

Rasika Somarathna

Secondhand smoke cause

* Lung cancer
* Heart disease
* Sudden infant death syndrome
* Low birth weight
* Serious respiratory conditions

The government is planning to bring in two important pieces of legislation which when implemented, could result in a significant reduction in tobacco smoking in the country. “The government will bring in laws which would require the industry to include pictorial health warnings on all tobacco packaging and also to ban smoking in all public and work places,” Health Deputy Minister Lalith Dissanayake said during a media workshop organized by the Jeevaka Foundation.

The organizations involved in the fight against tobacco have been urging the authorities to implement the two smoke-free laws, to make the public aware of it’s toll on health and protect non-smokers from second hand smoke.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), tobacco use kills one person in every six seconds.

The deputy minister said that amendments to the National Authority on Tobacco and Alcohol Act has been sent to the legal draftsman and was been translated into all three languages.

Dissanayake said that the Health Ministry was expecting the finished document within the next two – three months and then forward it to the perusal of its health committee before presenting it in Parliament for approval.

The deputy minister also noted that Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena was making special efforts to realize this at the earliest.

He said that the government led by President Mahinda Rajapaksa always stood for progressive legislation of this kind, which has the good health of the people at heart, through initiatives such as Mathata Thitha, which aims at weaning the public away from the imbibing of death-inviting intoxicants and other harmful substances.

It is expected that the pictorial warnings would come first which when implemented would require the industry to include graphic warning labels such as deceased lungs, oral cancer, wasted gums, children afflicted due to second-hand smoke etc covering at least 50 percent of the pack, according to NATA chairman Prof Carlo Fonseka.

It would come into effect with the empowerment of Article 11 of the WHO sponsored Framework Convention on Tobacco Control which Sri Lanka has agreed to enact as a party to the FCTC.

Cancer Care Association chairman and National Cancer Institute, Maharagama medical officer Dr Samadi Rajapaksa said that pictorial warnings on packaging’s was one of the most influential modes in communicating risks of tobacco use to users. “Graphic pictorial warnings can be very helpful in decreasing tobacco use by increasing public awareness of its dangers,” he added.

Dr Rajapaksa also pointed out that studies carried out after the implementation of pictorial package warnings in many countries reveal remarkably consistent findings on the positive impact of the warnings in reducing tobacco use.

While welcoming moves to ban smoking in all public places, Dr Rajapaksa said that Public Health authorities worldwide have concluded that there is no safe level to secondhand smoke exposure.

Secondhand smoke has proved to cause lung cancer, heart disease, sudden infant death syndrome, low birth weight and serious respiratory conditions, he said.

He also said that a cigarette contains 4,000 harmful substances with 40 of them having a direct impact on cancer. In Sri Lanka, the doctor says that over 40 percent of cancers are directly related to tobacco use.

Dr Rajapaksa said that he had informed the President on the importance of enacting the above laws and he had received a reply saying that it had been referred to the health minister.

Meanwhile, actor Roshan Ranawana speaking at the workshop attended by journalists representing nearly 40 electronic and print media organisations, said that Sri Lanka had lost many talented artistes prematurely due to tobacco use and alcohol abuse. He urged the young generation to stay away from both.

According to WHO, the leading preventable cause of death, tobacco kills more than five million people every year. One tobacco death occurs every six seconds. Tobacco killed 100 million in the 20th century and if preventable measures are not taken it could kill one billion in the 21st century.

A Meditation Program for CCA members 26th Feb 2012

By Dr.Iresh Jayaweera (President CCA – Karapitya Branch)

Namo Buddhaya!

Cancer Care Association(CCA) organized a day program for its members on 26th of February 2012.Unilike the previous four activities this full day program organized with a view of promoting the Satahara brahma viharana…simply mettha,muditha,karuna,and upeksha qualities of our membership,and guiding them how to practice meditation in their day to day life.

As we all know practice of dhamma or the prathipaththi pooja (Seela and Bhawana)is much more meritorious than the Aamisha pooja,so as devoted Buddhists the membership was requesting such a program,to set their path towards Nibbana.

CCA members gathered to Cancer Unit Karapitiya and left at 6.30 am to the Temple situated at the Loadstar Factory,Midigama Off Ahangama down south.

The Temple built with the direction of Mr.Jinasena,workers of Loadstar are so lucky to have a temple within its premises.Situated on a small mountain top completed with all necessities including a Pagoda,A sacred bo tree( a decedent from the Ananda Bodhiya Srawasthi) ,and a Dharma shalawa. All  28 bodhin wahansela of past 28 lord buddhas found in this temple.Everyday thewawa is done by a devoted group from the factory staff including the Saddha (sound)Puja.

Group reached the place by 7.00 am and observed Ashtanga Seela and participated in morning Buddha puja and a session of Chanting followed by  Heeldanaya offered by the Factory staff with the guidance of Mr.Chanaka Basnayake,the cheif engineer of Loadtar pvt Ltd.

Program was guided by honorable Dr.Samadhi Rajapakse and partcipants were taught the basic principals of meditation followed by a session of Guided Meditation.The importance of the practice of  the Chatur Arakshaka Bhawana(Buduguna,Asuba,Marananusmathi,and Maithri) was highlighted.And the Sakman Bhawana and Anapansathi were also introduced.

Participants were given enough time to practice meditation by their own.

Gilanpasa and Dahawal Danaya were too organized by the generous factory staff.

A dhamma dicussion was held after lunch and important questions/queries from the Abidhamma were asked by the members and answered by Dr.Samadhi Rajapakse.Followed by a session of Meditation.

Afternoon a special “Dethis maha purusha lakshana Puja” was organized.The special 32 phisical Characteristics of the gauthama Lord buddha were represented by 32 ayurvedic plants and the dried powder of each plant was taken to prepare a special Osupan Gilanpasa by the members guided by Dr.samadhi Rajapaksa.

Preperation was done in a clean Pot using special firewood (Kurundu,Sandalwood etc) with the chanting of the 3 bojjanga pirith Suttas. All the members participated in the activity and finally the gilanpasa was offered to lord buddha.Each of the 32 Special Physical Characteristics were mentioned and chanted by  special 32 poems.This was done with great Saddha inorder to show the gratitude(Kalaguna salakeema) to our lord buddha for showing us the path to freedom. All the members participated in a small Perahera while chanting Nawa Arahadii Buduguna.

Finally the program was concluded after chanting several pirith sutta and giving the merits to devas and the dead at aroung 4.30 pm.

We would like to give special thanks to Mr.Chanaka Basnayake and the Lordstar factory team for being the hosts for such a great meritorious activity.And Dr.Samadhi Rajapaksa for conducting the program in a practical and simple manner that even people with no past experience in meditation were successful.

Theruwan Saranii.

Next meditation activity on 1st Of April. contact CCA

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