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Established in the year 1981 jointly by the Government of Kerala and Government of India, the RCC, Thiruvananthapuram, is a comprehensive cancer centre catering to the population of the State of Kerala and the adjoining parts of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.

Genesis and Evolution

RCC was established as a state-owned premier cancer care hospital and research centre. What started out as an expansion of the Radiation Therapy / Radiotherapy Department of Govt. Medical College, Thiruvananthapuram, is now a tertiary care centre for the management of all types of cancer.

During its formative period, the State Government transferred a few departments of the Medical College, primarily concerned with cancer care to the RCC. This was with a view to develop it as a Centre of excellence and augmenting its teaching and research activities. It has been designated as a Science and Technology Centre in the health sector by the State Government.

In order to promote early cancer detection, the first Community Oncology division in India was established in RCC, Thiruvananthapuram, in 1985. RCC has one of the finest diagnostic oncology set-ups in the country. The centre has made much progress in the area of radiological imaging techniques using ultrasound, CT and MRI scanners, mammograms and more dynamic real-time nuclear isotope scanning.

Within a few years, the centre achieved computerisation of the outpatient department, patient data management, accounting, clinical research, pharmacy and stores. With special focus on human resource development, the RCC has organised several workshops to give advanced training for its faculty members.

With the planning and execution of Kerala State Cancer Control Programme undertaken by the RCC, the centre has gained considerable experience in conducting community-oriented cancer control programmes. It also provides counselling for patients to overcome psychological problems following mastectomy, and supplies breast prostheses.

Apart from clinical and scientific achievements, the Centre has pioneered schemes to help the less privileged socio-economic groups. At RCC, nearly 53% patients receive free treatment and another 27% in the middle income group receive treatment at subsidised rates. The 'Cancer Care for Life' (CCL) scheme was launched in 1986 to generate a welfare fund for cancer patients. Consequent upon the winding up of the CCL scheme of Rs.101/- per policy holder, a new CCL project of Rs.500/- per policy was launched in 1993. The scheme has been stopped in the year 2014 for giving way to a viable scheme in the context of the changed socio-economic environment. With these commendable efforts in over the past three decades, the Centre has carved a unique niche in the health map of Kerala.


  • The RCC, Thiruvananthapuram is established as an autonomous scientific institution sponsored jointly by the Government of Kerala and the Government of India as per Government of India letter No. T. 200125/79 of October 1980.
  • The Centre was registered under Travancore Cochin Literary Scientific and Charitable Societies Registration Act 1955 vide No. 567/81 dated 19.08.1981.
  • 3,000 new cases are registered in its first year of existence.
1984 - 85
  • K. Karunakaran, the then Hon'ble Chief Minister of Kerala, lays the foundation stone of the RCC building on September 11, 1984.
  • The first standalone Paediatric Oncology Division in the Country is established in RCC
  • The first Community Oncology Division in the Country is launched.
  • An Early Cancer Detection Centre is set up on August 15, 1984 at Ernakulam.
1985 - 86
  • RCC is designated as a Science and Technology Centre in the health sector by State Government as per G. O. (Rt) No. 1521/85/11 H & FWD dated 18.11.1985.
  • The 'Cancer Care for Life' (CCL) scheme with the objective of providing the most modern cancer care to the public on payment of a nominal sum of Rs.101/- once in their lifetime is initiated.
1986 - 87
  • A second Early Cancer Detection Centre is set up at Palghat (Palakkad).
1987 - 88
  • Village level Comprehensive Cancer Control Programme is launched.
1988 - 89
  • RCC received formal approval from Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) as a Centre for testing local remedies in cancer treatment.
  • RCC evolved a Ten-year Action Plan for cancer control in Kerala.
1989 - 90
  • Inauguration of the new building of RCC on 18 August 1989.
  • First cancer centre to manufacture oral morphine solution.
1990 - 91
  • 6,048 newly registered cases and 38,000 review cases are seen at RCC.
  • The State Government declares RCC as a Centre of Excellence in the field of Science & Technology.
1991 - 92
  • District Level Cancer Control Programme for Ernakulam district is launched.
1992 - 93
  • Pain Control Networking was established.
1993 - 94
  • Introduction of Radioiodine therapy.
  • District level Cancer Control networking in Kottayam and Pathanamthitta Districts.
  • Establishment of Early Cancer Detection Centre at Karunagappally, Kollam District.
1994 - 95
  • Establishment of Early Cancer Detection Centre at Kannur District.
1995 - 96
  • World Health Organization (WHO) designates RCC as a WHO Collaborating Centre for cancer control for developing countries.
  • Inauguration of the second block of the building.
1997 - 98
  • 150% increase in the number of new cases from 1981.
  • Establishment of a modern Endoscopy unit.
1998 - 99
  • Inauguration of a Palliative Care Centre in November 1998.
1999 - 2000
  • Established District Cancer Care Centre, Kozhencherry, Pathanamthitta District.
  • An International School of Colposcopy is established with support from IARC and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
2000 - 2001
  • 20th year of existence.
  • 9,803 new cases and 93,142 reviewed cases.
  • Prof. M. Krishnan Nair, Director, was awarded the 'Padmasree' by the Union Government.
2002 - 2003
  • A Telemedicine Network - Onconet - connecting peripheral centres including Kochi, Palakkad, Karunagappally and Kannur, was established.
2005 - 2006
  • Silver Jubilee year
  • 10,310 new cases and 1, 18,131 reviewed cases.
  • National Board of Examinations (NBE) accredited Diplomate of the National Board (DNB) programmes in Radiotherapy, Pathology, Radio diagnosis, Anaesthesia, Medical Oncology and Surgical Oncology started.
2006 - 2007
  • RCC becomes the first cancer centre to manufacture morphine capsules.
2007 - 2008
  • A state-of-the-art Bone Marrow Transplant Unit was commissioned.
  • An MRI was installed.
2009 - 2010
  • Commencement of construction work for a new 10-storey block.
2010 - 2011
  • 30th year of service.
  • 13,230 new cases and 1, 79,145 review cases.
  • Started MCI-approved MCh programme in Surgical Oncology and DM programme in Medical Oncology.
  • State-of-the-art Radiotherapy (Image-guided Radiotherapy-IGRT) and Brachytherapy (Image-guided Brachytherapy) services were started.
2011 - 2012
  • Introduced Rapid Arc, Stereotactic Radiotherapy (SRT) and Stereotactic Radio Surgery (SRS).
  • Introduced Limb Salvage surgeries for bone sarcomas.
2012 - 2013
  • Commissioned Picture Archiving and Communication System (PACS)
  • Commissioned a four bedded state-of-the-art ICU with two ventilators for paediatric patients
  • 24 hour pharmacy and chemotherapy services
  • Started MCI-approved DM programme in Paediatric Oncology, MD programmes in Radiotherapy, Radiodiagnosis and Anaesthesiology
  • The entire RCC campus made Wi-Fi enabled
  • Introduced Radio Frequency Identification technology (RFID) in the library
2013 - 2014
  • Started MCI-approved MD programme in Pathology
2014 - 2015
  • RCC has been elevated to the status of ‚ÄúState Cancer Institute‚ÄĚ by Govt. of India
  • RCC became the first Government owned cancer treatment institution in the country to win the coveted NABH accreditation
2015 - 2016
  • 35th Year of service
  • 16,042 new cases and 2,16,156 review cases
  • Inaugurated of new OP Block and commissioned PET CT scanner and Anaesthesia Simulator Lab.
  • Inaugurated new building for ECDC, Palakkad