On this year’s Bladder Cancer Awareness Month, Medica Group of Hospitals, the largest private hospital chain in Eastern India, made an announcement on Friday, May 13th, for the establishment of a ‘Bladder Cancer Support Group’ for the bladder cancer survivors, at Medica Superspecialty Hospital. At the event, Dr. Abhay Kumar, Head of Urology, Surgical Oncology, and Robotic Surgery at Medica Superspecialty Hospital, highlighted some myths and facts along with the signs that might indicate bladder cancer. The event also witnessed some real-life Heroes who have fought cancer, defied all obstacles, including societal pressures and economic adversities, and still have not called it quits. Following the announcement, the cancer survivors hosted a cultural program for the attendees at the event.
The hour-long event and the interactive session took the viewers through clinically oriented topics ranging from defining the symptoms of this cancer to the technicalities of managing the same for well-being.
Why increase awareness of Bladder Cancer?
1. West Bengal is one of the leading Bladder Cancer States in India
2. Invasive bladder cancer affects 430,000 individuals worldwide annually
3. Approximately 2.7 million people around the world today have bladder cancer
4. A history of tobacco smoking, industrial exposure to potential carcinogens such as aromatic amines and carbon black dust, and long-term drinking of arsenic-contaminated or chlorinated water puts individuals at higher risk
Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Abhay Kumar, Head of Urology, Surgical Oncology, Robotic Surgery, Medica Superspecialty Hospital, said, “Don’t Go Red Go to a Doctor, is the theme for Bladder Cancer Awareness Month this year which focuses on overcoming embarrassment in our lives. We are often too uncomfortable to discuss or seek professional help because the symptoms are similar to that of a urinary tract infection. Due to lack of awareness, India alone reports close to 20,000 new cases every year. If detected early these types of cancers are treatable, however, there is a risk of tumor recurrence, which necessitates regular monitoring.”
He further added, “Bladder cancer is common cancer, and the treatment requires long-term follow-up, which causes the person and family a lot of anxiety, which adds to the stress. To have a perceived mental frame of mind for the patient, caregivers must provide a lot of support. As a result, it necessitates the need for a support group, which does not exist much in Eastern India. As a result, in honor of Bladder Cancer Awareness Month, we have established this support group to help patients and caregivers understand the disease, treatments, and outcomes. This will strive to create a forum for Bladder Cancer survivors to gather and share their stories and concerns, giving them the feeling that they are not alone.”
While Medica, the fastest growing healthcare group in Eastern India, is planning to establish a world-class cancer treatment facility in Kolkata with excellent clinicians, it also believes that simply acquiring cutting-edge technologies will not provide a 360-degree caregiving approach. That is why Medica has incorporated the ‘Bladder Cancer Support Group’ into its cancer care. As a show of solidarity with those who have battled and defeated cancer, Medica proudly presented over thirty Bladder Cancer survivors and organized a cultural program for and by them.
Mr. Devprasad Ghosh, a 76-year-old former West Bengal State Electricity Board official, was diagnosed with bladder cancer. During the examination, it was discovered that one of his kidneys was not functioning properly. A radical cystectomy was performed to remove his bladder, as well as a left nephrectomy, a left kidney, and a small hole in the abdomen to replace the bag in which the urine originated and was deposited (stoma or Ileal Conduit in medical language). Both the operation and the recovery period were extremely successful. He is now living a healthy lifestyle with no complications.
Mr. Biswanath Dey, a Howrah resident, was first diagnosed with Hematuria, or blood in the urine. However, further, examination revealed that he had a bladder tumor, for which he underwent Endoscopic treatment with transurethral resection of bladder tumor (TURBT). After receiving his biopsy results, it was discovered that he had bladder cancer, for which Dr. Abhay Kumar and his team performed Neobladder reconstruction, a surgical procedure to construct a new bladder. He has recovered now and is doing well in life.
Mr. Kartik Chandra Ghosh, a policeman, had bladder cancer for 15 years. From 2003 to 2009, he received treatment. Then, in 2016, his bladder cancer returned. He was devastated. He was then subjected to cystoscopy and TURBT surgery. (Turboscopy and cystoscopy) After four years of regular check-ups, he is now completely fit and healthy.
Mr. Romen Mukherjee was diagnosed with Bladder Cancer and underwent a Radical Cystectomy Ileal Conduit operation (removal of bladder and implantation of bladder outside the abdomen). He has fully recovered now after chemotherapy and regular follow-up.
The survivors shared their experiences at Medica, emphasizing the amenities provided by the hospital to alleviate the already stressful experience of undergoing cancer treatment. There were lively performances for the guests’ entertainment, which were enjoyed by both staff and patients. The Medica staff recognizes the value of community and support, and the event’s success was largely due to this hopeful support group, which had found a new lease on life.