Cancer survivors share stories of hope

 A 59-yra-old teacher from Palta (North 24 Parganas), Mr. Biplab Chakraborty, underwent all the modalities of cancer treatment – chemotherapy, surgery and radiation — for “cheek gland” cancer back in 2011.

Octogenarian Mr. Panchu Gopal Aditya, speaks with a mechanical ring. The retired headmaster from Bankura uses an external device, an “Electrolarynx”, that he physically holds against his throat when he speaks as he had to undergo “Total Laryngectomy” (removal of voice box).

Mr. Chakraborty and Mr. Aditya were among several survivors of Head & Neck Cancer Surgery who overcame their inhibitions and spoke about an extremely tumultuous episode of their lives — cancer and its treatment. They discussed on stage about the sudden detection of cancer putting the brakes on their theretofore normal lives, the emotional turmoil, the physical pain but also about returning to normal life riding on the advances in modern surgical techniques and medication.

Doctors who had treated these them sat in rapt attention as the cancer surgery survivors spoke their hearts out delineating everything from the reactions they encountered from various sections of society when the news of them getting cancer had spread, to the pivotal role of the clinical psychological counselling available at Apollo Gleneagles Cancer Centre, Kolkata in soothing their nerves.

They also spoke of the state-of-art facilities and the cutting edge equipment at the cancer centre — housed in a separate six storey-building — that helped attain positive outcomes and resulted in reduced hospital stay in their cases.

“I am extremely content with the treatment I have received at Apollo Gleneagles Hospitals. Dr. Nipun Saha, under whom I was admitted, clarified all the doubts that me and my family had before every step of treatment. I am also happy with the outcome and have resumed daily activities,” said Mr. Aditya, who speaks with the assist of the Electrolarynx. “When I go to the local bazaar in Bankura, the shopkeepers who are the age of grandchildren ask me to speak a little more than required using the device because the mechanical sound amuses them and I happily oblige,” he said in a lighter vein.

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