This nobel initiative was unveiled by Dr. Somashekhar SP, HOD & Chairman- Surgical Oncology along with his team of oncologists consisting of Dr Amit Rauthan, Consultant ,HOD, Medical Oncology, Dr Poonam Patil, Consultant, medical Oncology, Dr Ashwin Raj Gopal , consultant , Surgical Oncology, Dr Shabber S Zaveri, Consultant , Surgical Oncology, Dr Srimanth B S , Associate Consultant , Surgical Oncology, Dr Kakoli, Consultant, Medical Oncology, and Dr Vadhiraja B M, Consultant [HOD] Radiation Oncology in the presence of cancer survivors.
With an aim to give new hope for Cancer Survivors and to help them cope up with life, this unique group will be a one stop solution which will offer therapy sessions, continuous engagement, counselling and much more.
Sharing their tales of sorrows and joys, many cancer survivors shared details on their emotional journey and their battle against Cancer. Many patients who were successfully treated and are now leading a cancer free life came forward to share their inspiring stories. Case of 56 year old Mrs Parveen Jassawala, who was diagnosed with breast cancer, fought the disease with determination and grit, underwent mastectomy and responded well to the treatment. Today she is leading a cancer free life.
In another heartwarming case, 60 year old Mrs Susan Abraham who was suffering from abdominal cancer was diagnosed and treated with 11 cycles of Chemotherapy. Additionally she also underwent cytoredutive and HIPEC surgery at Manipal Comprehensive Cancer Centre and recovered well.
Suhayma is a 14 year girl from Mauritius. She had sustained a fall in September 2018 in Mauritius. She was diagnosed with fracture of her left femur bone and subsequently underwent a surgery with fixation. Unfortunately, her fractured bone looked abnormal which prompted the orthopedic surgery team to send for further testing. Suhayma, her parents and the medical team were in for a shock when the reports suggested a tumor. The treatment consisted of administering chemotherapy followed by Limb Saving Surgery. The surgery per se was a challenge due to the presence of implant in the cancerous bone and previous surgeries. Bone sarcomas such as Ewing’s sarcoma are rare.
Expressing the need for Cancer Survivors group, Dr. Somashekhar SP, HOD & Chairman- Surgical Oncology, Manipal Comprehensive Cancer Centre said, “Just treating the patient does not complete cancer treatment. Post cancer care and therapy is an important aspect to keep the individual healthy and avoid relapse. Any person who survives a deadly disease like Cancer is no less than a champion! The disease and treatment in itself effects the patient both mentally and physically. Coming out of that phase requires self-confidence, therapy and much needed motivation. Over the years, we constantly felt that more than doctors, patients show positive signs after hearing stories of other cancer survivors and hence we felt the need for launching a support group like ‘We can’. This group is not only for Manipal Hospitals patients but we extend warm welcome to any cancer survivor who want to join us as volunteers and be a part of the network.”
“We Can “Programme will be spearheaded by Mr. Salil Jain, who is a cancer survivor and was treated at Manipal Hospitals 6 years ago. Having undergone the treatment himself while battling for colorectal cancer. He has been working closely with Manipal Hospitals for the to help cancer patients and survivors with their various requirements.
Salil Jain, Cancer Survivor & We Can support Group said, “We are happy to launch “We Can” Support Group in the city. Our aim would be to support cancer survivors and giving patients the hope of revival. It takes a lot of positivity and determination to fight the disease. Through this group, we will support cancer patients and spread positivity around them. The program is structured to take care of the requirements of Survivors on detection, treatment and post treatment. The programme is expected to help Survivors make the right choices of treatment, go through treatment peacefully, bounce back to a good quality of life after treatment and catch early recurrence, if any, for a better outcome of treatment. The programme will be open for all Survivors irrespective of where they get themselves treated.
The entire programme is designed as a 3 step mechanism. On detection - help understand the diagnosis, treatment options, second opinions and tackle the fear and apprehensions of the patient and family about the treatment and its outcomes.
During treatment - Coordinate with the doctors to help go through the treatment, tackle side effects, deal with emotional, physical and medical concerns of the patient.
Post Treatment - Survivorship Assessment, intervention for consequences of cancer and treatment, prevention of new/recurrent cancer and late effects, Surveillance, Co-ordination between primary care providers and Survivorship Care Planning (Diet and nutrition, Physical Activity, Emotional well-being, group activities, etc., etc.)
Speaking on the occasion Dr. Amit Rauthan, HOD & Medical Oncologist said, “Unfortunately, in India due to lack of awareness and lack of symptoms most people come to oncologists at an advanced stage. With the advent of latest drugs and surgical innovations, Cancer can be treated via many forms ie. surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, hormonal therapy, targeted therapy and immunotherapy. With multimodality, approach cancer can be cured completely. Studies have shown that these new revolutionary treatment options has shown dramatic response which was never seen earlier. It is truly heartening to see improved survival in patients, in what was considered until recently to be incurable cancers.”
Recent advancement in treatment of cancer is Immunotherapy, which can now be used to achieve positive results. It works by allowing the body’s own immune system to fight the cancer cells. The major advantage is that it does not have the side effects of chemotherapy; and in patients who respond, the response can last for very long. Thus, it not only helps cancer patients survive longer with good quality of life, but can also potentially cure some advanced cancer patients
Sharing her thoughts Dr. Poonam Patil, HOD & Medical Oncologist said, “ It is important to stay informed and aware about Cancer. Symptoms like Change in bowel habits or bladder functions, Sores that do not heal, unusual bleeding or discharge, lumps or thickening of breast or other parts of the body, Indigestion or difficulty swallowing and recent change in wart or mole need immediate attention and visit to oncologist.”
Cancer is a disease caused primarily due to environmental and genetic factors. It can affect almost any part of the body. According to National Institute of Cancer Prevention and Research (NICPR), an estimated number of around 2.25 million people are living with cancer.