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Making a difference in the lives of cancer patients

Feb 06, 2022 08:50 PM IST

Cancer is devastating for many. With World Cancer Day just gone by, we bring you beacons of hope that are trying to make a difference in the lives of cancer patients.

Cancer is devastating for many. With World Cancer Day just gone by, we bring you beacons of hope that are trying to make a difference in the lives of cancer patients.

Making a difference in the lives of cancer patients

Shubhendra Singh Thakur, co-founder and CEO of ERLYSIGN

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The 29-year-old entrepreneur had always been a whiz with machines, building many interesting gadgets during his engineering days, but the decision to turn to the healthcare industry was personal. He was inspired to enter this industry after his mother was diagnosed with a kidney condition. As he spent a lot of time in the hospital, he went around observing oral cancer patients and their hopelessness. He realized that a proper and affordable diagnosis could change this painful scenario of cancer healthcare. In 2020, he and his biochemistry professor, Dr Begde, established ERLYSIGN - India’s first biotechnology startup that offers early-stage diagnostic solutions and medical devices for the early detection of multiple cancers. It is India’s first testing kit that ensures non-invasive and painless early detection, is easy to use, and is a quick way to test for oral cancer through a saliva sample. Moreover, it ensures quick results for precancerous conditions even before a visible tumour or lesion appears in the oral cavity. Shubhendra was nominated for the 2019 Rex Karmaveer Chakra Award and the Karmaveer Global Fellowship instituted by ICONGO and the United Nations.

He says ““Cancer is a devastating disease that affects millions of people each year. It was such an unknown condition several years back, and today more people have died of cancer than any pandemic. The warriors out there should remember that we can’t control everything that happens in our lives. But we never give up in the Cancer Battle. We stand strong and courageous on the battlefield. We pick our swords and fight harder no matter the challenges we face. We will never give up this fight against cancer. Remember – you’re never alone in the Cancer Battle.”

He adds, “A few years ago we didn’t have access to the right tools to stop cancer, but nowadays with technological progress & government support, it really is possible. Early detection is essential for someone at high risk of getting cancer, but the awareness it provides is important for everybody. Early detection and a personalized therapeutic approach can make a huge difference in its early progress and spread to other areas. If we work together, then we really might achieve a world without cancer someday.”

Dr Gaurav Grover, Social activist

We have been helping people from last seven decades via our NGO. We have helped many cancer patients access medical care and with financial assistance.

We have tie ups with some of the top hospitals, doctors and with their help, we provide access to treatments at subsidiary cost and free medicines to the needy patients.

Infact, the relatives of poor patients coming to metro cities from far-flung areas for health treatment, we try to help them by providing food and other services.

Dr Charu Dutt Arora, Infectious Disease Specialist and Covid Care Expert

During the first wave of COVID-19 in March 2020, the anxiety and uncertainty about the disease and its severe morbidity amongst the Cancer and immunocompromised patients was very intense.

Being an infectious disease specialist, we started a project named “Call Kabhi Bhi”. Me and my team of resident doctors and nurses attended calls from hundreds of such patients and counselled them on the guidelines of home isolation, disinfection, quarantine protocols and healthy food habits in order to protect themselves from catching this viral infection. At the end of 6 months, we successfully managed 2000 such patients from all parts of the country.

Designer Somya Khurana organised a trunk show at her store at Ambawatta wherein she had helped a lady who was died of cancer by displaying her garments and the fund will go to Cancer Relief fund though the first attempt was not successful, but I do intend to do that in our upcoming all trunk shows as a gesture to support in our few ways, where it’s needed.

Dr. Kalyan Banerjee

Dr. Kalyan Banerjee has been providing free consultations to all patients who visit his clinic in the evening from the first day of his practice in 1977. He continues to provide for this service even today, 44 years on. His son, Dr. Kushal Banerjee, and a team of doctors are continuing this tradition of providing consultations without a fee to every patient who comes to Dr. Kalyan Banerjee’s Clinic in the second half of the day. People visit the Clinic from all walks of life and no application needs to be made to avail of this charitable service.

About one hundred cases of cancer from all over the world walk through Dr. Kalyan Banerjee’s Clinics every day. Many patients are unable to afford even the subsidized cancer treatments at some of the government hospitals and arrive here because of the lower cost of homeopathic medicines and the free consultation provided at the Clinic. Many advanced cases of aggressive cancers like those of the ovary and lungs have responded well, with a significant extension of their life span. Other patients come seeking palliation of a terminal illness where homeopathic medicines are prescribed to ease their suffering and allow them to live their days in some comfort and peace without the turmoil of aggressive forms of treatment. Patients report ‘miraculous’ responses also in cases where homeopathic treatment at the Clinic is used as an add-on to conventional treatments like radiation and chemotherapy. Complicated and difficult side effects of chemotherapy are also managed at the Clinic on a regular basis.

Shubhraa Maheshwari, Chartered Accountant

Cancer can’t break love, can’t destroy hope, and can’t break the spirit! Human beings have a strong survival instinct. When our lives are endangered by a disease like cancer, the will to live is a powerful motivator to battle for survival. When patients take an active role in the hunt for a cure, they become active partners with their medical care team.

Extending cooperation to other people is one approach to deepen it. Life’s greatest achievement is the emotional experience of sharing and rekindling hope in cancer sufferers. Maheshwari tries her hardest to help cancer sufferers in whatever way she can.

She attends MNJ Institute of Oncology & Regional Cancer Centre and Basavatarakam Indo American Cancer Hospital & Research Institute on a regular basis to deliver medicines, food, dried fruit, and other supplies. In fact, there is a cancer children’s wing that takes up a lot of her heart and attention. She read stories to the children and distributed books, stationery, games, and other items to them.

There is hope for a brighter tomorrow if there is sorrow in life... we must choose our side and work towards it.

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