The grandparents were in possession of a ten year visa for their annual trips to Europe and they were undergoing a medical check-up to be insured.
An inconsolable mother rang up her sons in England and Holland to communicate that their father was suffering from cancer. The sons rushed comfort the parents. But where is the visa to combat cancer?
The father is currently undergoing chemotherapy and braving radiation therapy. The mother has been impacted psychologically and has developed problems of high blood pressure , high sugar levels, intermittent cough and has become a virtual nervous wreck.
Why me? Any patient will ask this question and it is gut wrenching for the family to break the news.
Cancer also known as a malignant tumour or malignant neoplasm is a group of diseases involving abnormal growth with the propensity to spread and ingress to other parts of the human body. The sun sign becomes an ailment!
4th February is observed as the World Cancer day. The largest contributor of deaths is cardiac arrests or cardiopulmonary arrest . WHO posits that cancer will outdistance cardiac arrests by 2025.
The Geneva based Union for International Cancer and Control , has around 800 members spread over 155 countries . The body emphatically allude that early detection of the disease and palliative measures can challenge the sickness. Notably their theme till the year would be WE CAN, I CAN , DEFEAT CANCER. This springs from optimism.
“Cancer can take away all of my physical abilities. It cannot touch my mind it cannot touch my heart, and it cannot touch my soul” writes Jim Valdor.
WHO has analysed that there are around 7 lac cancer deaths in India and around 10 lac people contract the disease every year. Among women, claim oncologists breast cancer, cervical and ovarian cancer is extremely prevalent. Consumption of tobacco , smoking and excessive consumption of alcohol are other contributory factors which are leading to widespread increase in cancer.
The United States Centres for Disease Control and Prevention describes tobacco use as ” the single most important preventable risk to human health in developed countries and an important cause of premature death worldwide.” Several countries have adopted stringent measures to control the consumption of tobacco with the usage and sale restrictions as well as bold warning messages printed on the packaging .
Smoking causes cancers of larynx and mouth, hypertension besides polluting the environment. Secondary smoking is equally debilitating for the passive smoker. WHO argues that cigarettes sold in underdeveloped countries tend to have higher tar content and are less likely to be filtered, potentially increasing the vulnerability of tobacco and smoking related diseases. Despite the inherent perils, people continue to chew tobacco, smoke and extremely indulgent towards Bacchus.
An anxious patient, prays and hopes that the growth is benign. But they are misplaced and the tumour is malignant . How is the news to be broken to the patient? It requires enormous skill and dexterity to reveal the truth to the patient and the family. Both the patient and the family are under tremendous distress.
Dr Ranjana Shrivastava an oncologist from Australia belabours that it with extreme care , caution and a human touch the news should be broken. She even suggests workshops for patients and the traumatised family.
Apart from early detection, early cure , change in life style are fundamental in tackling this lethal disease.
Doctors arguably say a NO to smoking and refrain from alcohol . Individuals need to draw up a schedule of diet and exercise . Exercise releases endorphins which have an analgesic effect on human body and mind.
Practise of yoga ( under a qualified practitioner) , pranayama and breathing techniques like Sudarshan Kriya help lastingly in detoxifying the human body .
Whether diseased ( hopefully not) or healthy man should be surrounded by positive company and thoughts . Managing the mind to remain calm , contented provides roots to be mentally strong and sturdy. Reading inspiring literature of cancer survivors , their life stories act as a parachute for those afflicted with cancer.
“ Time is shortening . But everyday that I challenge this cancer is a victory for me.” Says Ingrid Bergman
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