08 May, 2021

Providing Hope To Cancer Patients On The Edge

Providing Hope To Cancer Patients On The Edge
It was a small patch on her lungs that changed Harmala Gupta's life. Faced with a persistent cough and a feeling of tiredness while doing her PhD in Montreal, she went in for a test. The truth was terrifying: an open biopsy confirmed she had cancer of the lymphatic system - Hodgkins lymphoma in medicalspeak.

But there was hope, considering that Harmala at that point of time was living in Canada. Says she: "In that part of the world, there's widespread awareness about cancer and it's usually detected early." But more than her ability to sustain intensive chemotherapy, the professional counselling that she received contributed more to her recovery. "I was put in touch with other people who had survived cancer - that really gave me courage," she says.

After all this, it was a shock to be back in India. Harmala, by now acutely conscious of the trauma cancer patients undergo, was stunned by the abysmal facilities available here. Half the battle against cancer is fought in the patients' mind. Avers Harmala: "One has to believe in the possibility of recovery."...

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