Cancer survivors share their incredible stories
Two Indian mothers who nipped cancer in the bud share their survival stories
In December 2012, Delhi-based homemaker Shweta Sinha (name changed) complained of persistent abdominal bloating and pain to her doctor. She was diagnosed with Stage-III ovarian cancer and was advised immediate medical attention. “It was a difficult time for the entire family, specially for my two children,” says the 55-year-old Sinha.
Doctors planned the ‘Neo adjuvant’ chemotherapy for her. After three cycles of treatment, a response evaluation was conducted on Sinha. Based on this, she then underwent a major surgery. “After the surgery, I received three more cycles of chemotherapy and am doing well now. It has been almost 2.5 year’s since I was diagnosed and I am on a regular follow up schedule now,” says Sinha who plans to celebrate Cancer Survivors Day today with her family.
Sinha is one of the many cancer survivors who will celebrate life after cancer today. This day marks a demonstration that life after cancer can also be a reality. According to a recent study published by medical journal Lancet, survival rates in India are quite low for most types of cancer. In fact, these rates are less than half of the advanced countries in many types.
Dr Vaneet Gupta, senior oncologist, PSRI Hospital, Delhi, explains, “Survival rate depends on the type of cancer. For instance, in lymphoma, ovarian or breast cancer, more than 60-70% of patients survive for longer than five years, if the cancer is detected at an early stage. But in case of gastrointestinal and lung cancers, which often get detected in later stages, a survivor generally lives for less than two years.”
Continue reading to know the early symptoms that indicate signs of cancer
Experts suggest that these following types of early symptoms could indicate cancer:
- Loss of balance
“Immediately get in touch with your doctor, if you are unable to get up from bed for 24 hours due to these factors,” advises Dr Gupta. He adds that apart from medical help, family support is the biggest strength for a cancer patient. “It is their high morale that helps a patient to continue the fight and recover. Thus, counseling them will certainly help the patients to deal with this crisis,” he says.
Malbika Kundu (name changed), 36, a mother of two, who survived this deadly disease, says it was the support of her family that got her through. “I was detected with cancer at an age of 32 years. What I felt is really hard to describe in words. I just went numb when I came to know that I have been detected with ovarian cancer.”
This Uttrakhand resident says that it was her family’s bravery that pushed her to keep fighting. “I can’t thank God enough to be given a second chance to life. Looking back at those times made me realise that besides proper medical care you also need abundance of support of your close ones for surviving. I have been asked often what advice I will give to those who are fighting cancer. Frankly, I have no answer. This is a fight that everyone deals with in their own way and hopes to be a winner,” says Kundu.
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