Cancer is the second most common disease in India responsible for maximum mortality with about 0.3 million deaths per year, suggests a report published by ReasearchGate. Owing to the increasing life expectancy and the amount of carcinogenic exposure, the chances of one getting cancer has risen by many folds. While old age is one of the factors for several types of cancer, it is no more a disease affecting a particular age bracket.
Realizing the gravity of the situation and availability of awareness on the subject, HappyAging conducted a Cancer Awareness Talkshow in the month of January with survivors and doctors to start a dialogue among people.
Among the panelists in the discussion were:
- Dr. Tushar Patil who is a leading Oncologist from Pune,
- Dr. Hrishikesh Deshmukh who is a leading Urologist and represented Institute of Prostate Cancer, Pune,
- Dr. Vivek Nirbhawane from Cipla Palliative Care, Pune,
- Mrs. Shubhada Barsode who had endometrium cancer (part of uterine cancer),
- Mr. Sachin Wartikar who fought his battle with lymphoma and germ cell tumor cancer and
- Mr. Harrsh Joshi who fought brain tumor
The discussion was chaired by Dr. Lata Bhoir who is a practicing surgeon at Sassoon Hospital and associate professor at BJ Government Medical College, Pune and Jyoti Tiwari who is a social activist from Yoddhas, a cancer support group and who herself fought a battle against cancer for her son who had blood cancer.
From discussing individual journeys of the survivors to what symptoms and causes for cancer look like, and how society looks at the disease, the awareness talk show shed light on various aspects of the subject. It also helped the audience in understanding what precautionary measures in the form of self-examinations and screening tests available for few types of cancers can be taken.
Talking about the advancements in the treatment section of cancer, the doctors threw light on minimally invasive surgeries that are quite successful when cancer is detected in the early stages. They also explained commonly known treatments like chemotherapy and radiation therapies. While doctors stressed on allopathic treatment as the standard of care for all cancer treatments, Dr. Tushar Patil answered our audience on queries over Ayurvedic treatment. He said that Ayurveda too plays an adjunct role in cancer treatments to alleviate the symptoms and toxicity related to heavy cancer drugs.
Among the audience, we also had Dr. Gayatri Bhat from Delhi, who is a pediatrician and a survivor herself. She had a long and tumultuous journey with cancer as she had multiple myeloma with extramedullary lesions. Dr. Bhat also represents Yoddhas with Jyoti and explained how the cancer support group helps patients from across the country in understanding the whereabouts of the treatment and also with finances through crowdfunding.
The discussion also covered about the financial aids that are available in India for economically weaker patients and their families and how clinical trials may prove to be pocket-friendly for the otherwise expensive treatment.
Faith, willpower, acceptance and positivity were few take-aways from the survivors who with their determination to beat the beast won their war against cancer and stood out victoriously.
Watch the video to catch all about cancer and hear from the panelists.
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