Mumbai : Patients who have battled cancer and are completely cured of the disease help cancer patients deal with their turmoil through counselling. The treatment of the disease often goes on for years, which ends up with the patients suffering from depression, but counselling and positive conversations ease their pain and loneliness, say cancer survivors-turned counsellors.
Doctors express that cancer patients have to fight both physiological as well as psychological issues during their journey. Indian Cancer Society is an NGO which helps poor people detect cancer and provide funds for treatment at hospitals. Sometimes, when a cancer spreads, limbs are amputated and leg or arm amputations can cost around Rs 10,000 in a private hospital, whereas ICS charges around Rs 4,000.
Dr Rasika Pardhi, the incharge of prosthetic surgery at ICS, said, “Since 2013, we have treated 3,745 patients who needed amputation and we also provide training to them for making handbags so that they learn skills and get employed in the future. Also, when these patients are cured, they counsel and provide emotional support to other cancer patients who are currently recuperating.”
“We understand the hardships and the grief that a cancer patient has to undergo and then there comes a stage when you cannot fight anymore and often patients quit their treatment mid-way. At this point, we come to their rescue and provide them with a healing touch, and who else can do this job better than us who have faced and passed all these stages,” expressed a cancer survivor who counsels patients, on the basis of anonymity.
Pradeep Gogte, the director general of the Indian Cancer Society, said, “One can imagine the state of a person when he is informed that he is suffering from cancer. There are a million thoughts that cross their mind, such as how will they pay for the treatment costs and who will run their family. The knowledge of having cancer disturbs their mental, and not just physical, state.”