Survivor 1: Watch your aahaar, vichaar, aachaar, aur vyavhaar (food, thoughts, conduct, and behaviour).
Survivor 2: I plead—Don’t smoke. Don’t chew tobacco. Don’t eat paan masala.
Survivor 3: Make lifestyle changes—both physical and mental.
THESE ARE anti-cancer therapies by different people who fought and survived cancer. They, at Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences (SGPGIMS), shared the trauma they went through and the lessons that cancer taught them.
Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences (SGPGIMS) Director Prof AK Mahapatra also shared an experience and a lesson—cancer that his father had due to tobacco.
Those who thought they would have been dead years ago through cancer’s tentacles, now proudly flaunt their survival stories. And most of these now inspire others to prevent cancer as well as helping cancer patients to develop a will to survive through their stories. There was a gathering of such survivors at the institute here on Tuesday on the occasion of National Cancer Awareness Day.
“I want to say that cancer can be fought against and vanquished,” says Ajanta Lohit. Lohit fought cancer twice—once a breast cancer, and then a liver cancer. While Radha Devi Dixit from Rajajipuram says: “Just when I had cancer, five of my other colleagues too had it around that time. Only I survived.”
Radha Devi Dixit never ever smoked or chewed tobacco. She thinks as a teacher she used to talk a lot to her students without drinking water frequently. Her throat used to be dry and this led to her throat cancer. Lallan Chaudhury, from Hasanganj, began eating ‘paan’ when he was eight. By the time he reached High School, he started smoking. Three years later he became a chain smoker. And then had paan masala as an addiction. In 1996, he was diagnosed with oral cancer. The reasons of diseases may have been different in the same disease that the two had, but they both fought it with common factors. They fought it with a will to survive.
“I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2001. Went to SGPGIMS. Underwent chemotherapy and radiotherapy, which were very traumatic. I won over the disease but in May 2006, I was diagnosed with liver cancer. I have already had six chemotherapies for liver cancer till now. And this time chemotherapy was even more traumatic. But I along with the same to of doctors at PGI once again won. I am again coming back to leading normal life,” said Ajanta Lohit.
“The disease is dreadful and its treatment is even more traumatic. So, a will to live, interest in life and support from people is what is most important along with the therapies,” said Mahmood Hasan, 66, from Hardoi. He was treated for oral cancer at PGI for one year since 1997.
SGPGIMS Director said the best therapy against cancer is prevention. “And it can be prevent,” he said.
Talking about how it could be prevented, Prof NR Dutta, the Head of Radiotherapy Department, SGPGIMS gave a presentation. Merging science and spirituality he said: “There should be a philosophy to control our inner self.
Manage stress. If you are stressed out, then it leads to psychological stress.
This in turn leads to depression and despair and further hurts the hypothalamic as well as the pituitary activities in a body. Abnormal hypothalamic activities leads to suppression of immune system, while abnormal endocrine activities leads to abnormality in endocrine system which may trigger increase in abnormal cells in the body. And this is what cancer is.”