‘World Cancer Day 2014’ prompt

February 4 is World Cancer Day. In India, Cancer is one of the leading causes of deaths with over 3 million people suffering from the deadly disease. I am participating in the prompt of Write Tribe, ‘World Cancer Day 2014’, sharing my thoughts and dedicating the post to a bubbly class mate who died of cancer at a very young age.

Note: My apology for not putting the post on February 4. I’ve been suffering from terrible tooth ache which leads to head ache and I feel like  I am in a middle of a war. I am on medication and still suffering from excruciating pain. Thus, trying to to blog at a time when I enjoy momentary relief from the pain. I’ve been spending sleepless nights and hope things get better.



World Cancer Day 2014

Image Courtesy: writetribe.com/worldcancerday.org

Image Courtesy: writetribe.com/worldcancerday.org

There was once a bubbly and sweet 18 year old girl in my class when I first joined college in 2003. There was always a gracious smile on her face and, not once, she would sport a sullen look. I spoke to this cute girl a couple of times and she would always greet everyone with  a big Hi, spreading cheers around everybody in college campus.

Asha was always full of energy and always spread a huge smile that one would not think that this jovial and beautiful girl was battling cancer. She was always full of life and her smile flashes an image that still rings alive as I think of her even today. She seems full of life and was always so cute. Asha was one of the prettiest girl in college. We were in first year way back in 2003 and once, we were standing in the Katta (college campus). Something was striking about her and noticed that she shaved her hair. She sported a vibrant and colorful smile. The stupid guy that I was, went to her and asked, it’s a new fashion, kya. She smiled and said something sank my heart, ‘I have cancer.’ Imagine the jolt that I received by making such a dumb joke. I said sorry but she smiled and said, ‘No, it’s fine.’ How can someone who is fighting a disease can manage to smile and spread cheers. I wished her well.

We went into three weeks Diwali holiday and we attended the first French class when Rao Ma’am told us to head back to the department if we want to scribble something in the book for Asha. She passed away, battling away the disease. We were all shocked and was like, how life can be so unfair to this gentle soul. The incident has remained with me forever. God bless her soul and her smile always remained etched in my heart and mind.

Years later, Aunty (ma friend’s mom) was admitted to the hospital but the learned doctor refused to divulge to the family about the disease. Our family had doubts on cancer but the doctor refused to reveal that aunty was diagnosed with cancer. Finally, the doctor divulged the disease after being pressed. Aunty was, then, shifted to Apollo Chennai. My point is that should a doctor should tell the family? Of course, the doctor should tell so that the family can take the necessary precaution for their family member since the health is at stake and what if the damage has been done? Luckily, aunty is now well. It’s been five years now.

What is cancer?

Cancer is a condition where cells in a specific part of the body grow and reproduce uncontrollably. The cancerous cells can invade and destroy surrounding healthy tissue, including organs. Cancer sometimes begins in one part of the body before spreading to other areas. This process is known as metastasis. There are over 200 different types of cancer, each with its own methods of diagnosis and treatment.

Source: NHS Choices

With a million new cases being reported every year, cancer seems to be tightening its grip on India. Experts say the incidence of the killer disease is expected to rise five-fold by 2025. Cancer is one of the leading causes of deaths in India, which has nearly three million patients suffering from the disease, they said.Annually, nearly 500,000 people die of cancer in India. The WHO said this number is expected to rise to 700,000 by 2015.

Source: health.India.com (Join TheHealthSite.com’s War on Cancer)
Myths about cancer
1. http://www.worldcancerday.org/cancer-myths
2. http://health.india.com/diseases-conditions/top-10-cancer-myths-busted-sh214/


  1. I agree with you and it’s a tragedy that the world is still lack behind to fight cancer ‘effectively.’ The onus lies on ugly capitalism where we measure everything in terms of money. But, some progress has been achieved.

  2. Asha’s story is so touching, Vishal ! And as for aunty’s case, well, the doctor should definitely let the family know. This is crucial not only for seeking better treatment, but also for the family to motivate and support the patient positively. Well written, Vishal !

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