Kids’ tale of grit against great odds

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Chennai: Their stories give tremendous hope to cancer patients to fight the disease with confidence. Around 100 survivors between the age group of five and sixty five years gathered at Sri Ramachandra University on the eve of Independence Day to celebrate ‘Freedom from cancer’ on Wedn­esday.
Malathi, mother of seven-year-old Selvadharshan, one of the cancer survivors says, “My kid does not know that he survived and fought the disease. He is very young and he loves to play. I will never tell him about it.” Couple Lakshmi and Ram­as­ubramanian, an a­c­c­­­­­o­untant, recalled those challenging days when their daughter was diagnosed with blastoma, a type of cancer common among children.
“Within 22 days of giving birth to my second daughter, we came to know that Aarthi is suffering from cancer. It was very difficult to accept it first and she underwent nearly 12 rounds of chemo­therapy. We settled in Che­nnai from Tirunelveli just for the treatment. It’s been two years now and she is studying in Class 3. We are very much relieved now and every six months we visit the hospital for follow-up,” says Lakshmi.
Dr Anita Ramesh, HOD, medical oncology at Sri Ra­m­achandra Medical Coll­ege says cancer survivors are those who successfully completed two years after undergoing treatment for cancer. “Ever year, nearly 9.8 lakh new cases of cancer are recorded in our country. Cancer is curable if detected early and they can lead a normal life. The results of treatment in stage I and stage II (early stage) are about 80 per cent,” she says and adds that cervical and breast cancer are the most common among women.
“We want to spread the message that cancer is curable and one can lead a normal life after surviving cancer,” Dr Anita says. Actor-director Ameer who was present on the occasion said with precautions, timely detection and continuous treatment and self-belief, cancer can be cured. Vice-chancellor Dr J.S.N. Murthy, chief advisor Dr T.K. Partha­sarathy and faculty dean Dr K.V. Soma­sundaram were present.

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