As the world struggles to combat the vicious disease called Cancer, that is spreading its venomous wings in the far corners of the world, it is also time to stop and salute the people who have come this far and survived the struggle. People who till the time it was discovered were busy in their normal routines, work life and social set ups. But unfortunately, their entire life toppled when the detection happened.
How they ambushed the fear, fought against the pain and hardships and emerged victorious, is what the World Cancer Day celebrates each year on the 4th of February.
World Cancer Day is a campaign built to resonate, inspire change and mobilise action long after the day has passed. A multi-year campaign offers a chance to create long-lasting impact by increasing public-facing exposure and engagement, more opportunities to build global awareness and impact-driven action.
There are over 200 different types of cancers in the world. In 2018, the disease led to nearly 7 lakh deaths. The Indian Council of Medical Research estimates that the country, alone, is likely to register over 17 lakh new cases and report over 8 lakh deaths by 2020.
On World Cancer Day, the ongoing theme for 2019-21 of ‘I Am and I Will’, pledges to support the ones suffering, and be cautious and safeguard oneself by getting screened and following a healthy lifestyle.
Indian celebrities who have survived cancer –
Some stories can be inspirational for many. Many well-known Indian celebrities, who have often been praised for their outstanding work onscreen, now have different stories to inspire the masses from. These are stories of strength, guts and confidence that helped them fight cancer.
Let’s go through some of these –
Yuvraj Singh –
Right after India won the 2011 World Cup and Yuvraj was named the ‘Player of the Tournament’, he was diagnosed with Stage 1 Lung Cancer. It was during the tournament that he had bouts of blood vomiting, nausea and breathing issues. He underwent chemotherapy in the United States and returned to India in March 2012 to take part in the 2012 T20 World Cup, post his recovery.
Like on field, same off field – a player par excellence who doesn’t believe in giving up!
The leading lady of Bollywood, who surprised us with stellar performances in movies like Dil Se, Bombay and Lajja, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer at the age of 42. She received treatment in a New York hospital and came out of the disease. Even during the chemotherapy, she kept her updating her fans about the progress.
Post her recovery, she often said that cancer helped her appreciate life and honour the body. During her treatment she went through psychological breakdowns as well. Since she survived the disease, she started supporting various NGOs and organisations that help cancer patients. Her book, ‘Healed’, on cancer survival is now a bestseller.
The director of Barfi was diagnosed with acute promyelocytic Leukaemia (a type of blood cancer) in 2004. Though the doctors gave him a timeline of two months and 50% chance of survival, Anurag did not give up. He fought the disease for three years and during this time came up with movies such as Gangster, Life In A Metro and Barfi.
One of the first Indian celebrities to openly talk about her hardships with the disease, Lisa in many ways, paved the way for people to talk freely about cancer.
In 2009, the Indian-born actress was diagnosed with multiple Myeloma (a cancer of
plasma cells in the bone marrow). For over a year, Lisa fought blood cancer and in 2010, made her fight with the disease, public.
She was last seen in Ram Gopal Verma’s Veerappan.
The legendary actress of yesteryears, who was the uncrowned queen of Bollywood, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2002. Known for iconic movies such as Do Raaste, Chor Machaye Shor, Aag, Khilona, Aadmi aur Insaan, Upaasna and so on, she was 54 when cancer hit her.
She fought the disease for 11 years and was also featured in the UniGlobe Entertainments documentary on cancer survival called ‘1 Minute’.
In all, she went through six chemotherapies and 35 radiations. A story that truly inspires!
Sonali Bendre –
Indian actress, Sonali Bendre was diagnosed with high grade Metastatic cancer a few months back. This cancer can proliferate the bloodstream and can be dangerous.
But Sonali, as her twitter posts show, has taken the vow to fight this. She regularly writes about this. Her powerful positive attitude apaprent from her photographs and posts.
Hridhik Roshan’s sister, Sunaina is another story of strength personified. She won her war against cervical cancer. Because of the timely treatment and her positive approach towards life, Sunaina Roshan came out of the danger period and got back to leading a normal life.