Cancer is a disease in which a single normal cell in the body undergoes a genetic transformation into a cancer cell. These cells over the years multiple uncontrollably and invade other tissues and form a tumor, which is termed as cancer. There are several main types of cancer. The major types of cancer are: CARCINOMA, MELONOMA, SARCOMA, LYMPHOMA and LEUKEMIA.
From the beginning of History human beings have had cancer and it dates back to 300 B.C. and was first discovered in Egypt, known as Edwin Smith Papyrus. Though some of the cases were treated and removed with a tool called ,’fire drill,’ people believed that there was no treatment for this dreadful disease.
Cancer case reports in India began in the 17th century, between 1860 and 1910. Indians had a short life expectancy so the cancer cases were also low and survival chances were also less, but today life expectancy has increased so have the cases and survival rates have increased on account of improved cancer diagnostics, treatment and to manage the increased cancer burdens. The first Asian Cancer Hospital was established in 1941, in India in Mumbai by Mr. JRD Tata—Tata Memorial Hospital.
Today cancer patients have increased so has the survival rate. In India the best survival cases are those who are treated with surgery, or a combination with either radiotherapy or with radiotherapy and chemotherapy.
CANCER SURVIVORS DAY:
Cancer survivors day is celebrated on June 3rd. On this day or before that day the survivor’s physical, social, psychological and economic issues of Indian adult is looked into. Patients from rural, semi rural and urban areas their health conditions are studied. Tumors of some primary sites like the cervix, breast, oral cavity, thyroid and penis, for which treatment responses is generally very good is early stages is considered and their survival rate is considered.
People living with cancer experience a variety of symptoms. Their Quality of life (QOL) is a major concern of patients with terminal cancer. Managing the symptoms improves the patient’s distress and QOL.
CANCER SURVIVORS’ VIEWS:
1. MANISHA KOIRALA:
She remembers the lines from Robert Frost’s poem, ‘The woods are lovely, dark and deep—and miles to go before I sleep,’ is regaining strength and is a cancer survivor, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2012. She is a great inspiration to all the cancer survivors’ and encourages them to look for things that gives them joy and peace during that time and instruct them to find a hobby to keep them busy. Manisha says, “Forever grateful for the second chance to life.” In a book Healed: How Cancer Gave Me A New Life, published in 2018 she spoke about her ordeal with cancer and how she emerged as a survivor with her positive attitude. Back in 2012 she did not know whether she would survivor as the cancer had spread all over the organs. The surgery conducted was for 11 hours and she underwent 18 sessions of Chemotherapy over a period of six months.
She says,” there was a feeling of hopelessness, helplessness and powerlessness in my mind, body and spirit.” It was at this time that her family stood as the strongest support system. She says she is in good spirits today, content and spends time by herself, and travels a lot. Today her relations and friendships are more rooted and solid. She loves watching the sunrise, sunset, the sky, birds and whenever she feels exhausted, she pampers herself by taking an extra nap, eating well and by taking a spa treatment.
In her own words, “We should value what we have and not take it for granted. I am that person today.” Hence Manisha Koirala is a great inspiration to all cancer patients and survivors.
2. YUVRAJ SINGH- CRICKETER:
Yuvraj Singh was diagnosed with Seminoma Lung Cancer in 2011. A cancerous tumor was growing slowly in his left lung and was pressing against his lungs and arteries because of which he experienced a heart attack. He underwent Chemotherapy treatment and 2012 March, was discharged from hospital after completing the third and final cycle of Chemotherapy.
Yuvraj says,“ When we have cancer, the only choice is to get up and don’t give up.” He is the founder of ‘YOU WE CAN,’ a non-profit organization that spreads awareness about cancer and encourages survivors. HE MADE A SMASHING COME BACK AND PROVED, ‘IF YOU HAVE THE WILL, THERE’S NO STOPPING YOU.’ Yuvraj Singh has retired from cricket and devotes time to assist cancer patients through his foundation.
SOME SURVIVORS’ OPINION:
The common notion is that cancer means no survival and end of life—There’s nothing to fear, if celebrities can survivor, even a common person can, who is tough mentally and can face a lot of adversities in life.
On the World Cancer Awareness Day, cancer survivors share their successful stories and how they fought against this dreadful disease and how they did not lose hope, as they never had that option of giving up on mind.
Many common persons cancer survivor’s stories are touching people’s hearts. They say everyone is fighting some battle or the other in life and cancer is one of them, so stop looking at cancer as a disease, says a breast cancer survivor from Mumbai. She also adds that cancer has made her realize so many things that she would not have learnt, like acceptance, letting go of grudges and any form of judging. Cancer has taught her to respect the struggle of everyone around her and to treat all with kindness. Cancer has taught her to live and understand and celebrate life, as she is alive.
A mother of a three years old child, Kusum is also a survivor of 4th stage lung cancer at the age of 29. Her husband says she never smoked, so anyone can be a victim of cancer. She thought she would live only for a few months but because of the treatment, love, hope and courage she survived.
SURVIVAL RATES INCREASING:
Survival rates of cancer cases are increasing on account of diagnosis at an early stage, effective treatment, biological factors, commitment to lead a healthy life by reducing risk factors and by conducting screening programs and last but not the least timely and effective treatment.