Cancer patients share stories of struggle, triumph

Lalitpur, November 5

A meet for survivors of leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma after a successful bone marrow transplant was held today by the Nepal Cancer Hospital and Research Centre and Nepal Cancer Support Group in Hattiban, Lalitpur.

During the programme, cancer survivors shared their personal stories of struggle and triumph, and implored cancer patients to remain ‘mentally strong’ to beat the disease.

A 19-year-old leukemia patient Sujal Ranjit said he was diagnosed with the disease when he was five years old. His parents kept the truth for him for the first two years of treatment, after which he discovered the truth himself. “My parents would often have to sleep on hospital floors without any blankets during my treatment,” he shared.

Another patient Prem Dangal said, “Cancer can be cured. Family members and patients must not treat a diagnosis as a death sentence. Patients need a strong support system to keep their spirits up and fight the disease.”

Cancer treatment can be very expensive and put undue financial burden on the family to add to the emotional difficulty they deal with.

Senior Registrar at NCHRC Dr Sajin Rajbhandary said about 15 to 16 per cent of the total population of the world are patients of various blood cancers.

The number of cancer patient in various hospitals in the country has been increasing of late. While Bhaktapur Cancer Hospital provided treatment for various blood cancers before 2000 AD, Standard Protocol Treatment began in Nepal only after that year.

With the initiation of bone marrow transplant procedure in Nepal, the number of blood cancer survivors has increased in the country.

Nearly 46 per cent, 63 per cent, and 30 per cent of patients of leukemia, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and multiple myeloma live for ten years after diagnosis.

Senior Consultant Hemato-oncologist, RGCI Dr Dinesh Bhurani said, “Doctors need to be very supportive and treat patients with kindness because it is extremely important to keep the patients mentally fit. Patients’ psychological well-being plays a big role in fighting the disease. Family members must be appropriately counselled so they can do the best in helping their kin beat the disease.”