Cancer survivors in Ludhiana recall their struggle

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Ludhiana
  • Updated: Aug 12, 2016 14:39 IST
Cancer survivors dancing with their doctors during a press conference in Ludhiana on Thursday. (Gurminder Singh/HT Photo)

Dr Divya Mittal, MD and pathologist at private hospital, was 31 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She said it was the end of the world for her.

Veena Jathy was 61, when she was diagnosed with tongue cancer. “For the last six years, blisters appeared on her tongue frequently and when I visited the hospital in Delhi the doctors informed that I had no problem. But I discovered that a painful tongue ‘ulcer’ flared up and when we consulted doctors in Fortis Hospital I was told that I am suffering from tongue cancer and needed immediate treatment.”

Veena Jathy and Divya Mittal were two of the 30 cancer survivors shared their experience during the cancer awareness programme ‘khushi ke pal with apne doctors’ organised by Fortis hospital at Park Plaza Hotel here on Thursday.

Divya added, “I read inspiring stories of Yuvraj Singh, how he fought with lung cancer and the book “The test of my life”motivated me that I could also survive. While reading that book, I become very positive and he has well said that “Please don’t think that your life is about to end, take the right advice and act as soon as you can. If there’s an issue in your system, don’t ignore it. Look at me, I never thought I’d get a chance to again play for India, but I’ve beaten cancer. God has given me this opportunity and my love for cricket has brought me back.

The experience has made me stronger (in the mind), If you’re strong, then you automatically become a positive person. Cancer doesn’t mean that you’re going to die.”

Divya Mittal said the most difficult part of her treatment was chemotherapy, in which she was physically and mentally exhausted.

But her doctors kept motivating her that she will be fine after the treatment.

“I focused on recovery and not on negative thoughts. My advice to every patient who is suffering from cancer is “have positive attitude and go for regular self breast examine,”said Divya who has been married for the last 10 years.

“My husband, Sohan Lal Jathy, accompanied me to the hospital during my treatment and was supportive. After the treatment, I was facing problems in talking and could not have spicy food but now I am fine and just avoiding spicy food,”says Veena.

Both the survivors say that their life changed after cancer. Divya Mittal and Veena Jathy trust their luck, and their respective partners and families for the support during the toughest times of their lives.


Vivan Singh Gill, director, Fortis Hospital, said, “There are at least 90 cancer patients for every 100,000 population in Punjab. Cancer incidence in the state is higher than the national average of 80 per 100,000 populations, reveals a survey by the Punjab government. The survey results were released on January 28.”

Dr JS Sekhon, director, oncosciences, said, “Though several studies in the past decade have shown that Punjab has higher incidence of cancer than the rest of the country, this is for the first time the state government conducted a comprehensive door-to-door survey to quantify the problem.

The survey, which also aimed at carrying out mass awareness campaign and early detection of cancer, based on warning signs and symptoms, screened about 265,000 people in the Malwa, Doaba and Majha regions.

It was found that about 24,000 of them were suffering from cancer. Worse, more than thrice the number 84,453 were suspected to be suffering from the deadly disease.”

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