Nepal Cancer Support group in collaboration with Nepal Cancer Hospital and Research Center organized a cancer survivorship event at the hospital premises in Harsiddhi Lalitpur on 17th August 2018, Friday. In this event, Cancer survivors shared their experiences with each other for communal empowerment. The Chief guest for the program was State Minister of Health and Population Hon’ble Dr. Surendra Kumar Yadav and he was joined by Cancer Survivors and Fighters, Cancer Specialists, Families of Cancer Survivors, Social Workers and Journalists. Coordinator of Nepal Cancer Support Group Mrs. Sworupa Shrestha outlined the objective of the program was to lift the spirits of cancer fighters, streamline their treatment and improve their daily routine through positive and encouraging messages from Cancer survivors. She also added that this event will be held monthly from now onwards. The program was named ‘Sudipta’ to honor the brightness emanated by cancer survivors which will lend courage and inspiration to guide patients through quick recovery.
Cancer survivors and fighters interacted with Cancer Care Specialists about different issues of Cancer Management and Treatment. Cancer fighters and survivors said they had lots of confusions and doubts cleared about Cancer through this interaction program. Dr. Sudip Shrestha, Executive Chairman of Nepal Cancer Hospital and Research Center, outlined that there are many types of Cancer and they cannot be lumped as one fatal disease as is the case in Nepali psyche. As many people become demotivated and hasty after a cancer diagnosis which makes a negative impact on their treatment, it is important to raise awareness about cancer and its management, he added.
State Minister for Health and Population Dr. Surendra Kumar Yadav said that the proportion of population to Hospital beds in Nepal as well as the subsidy provided by the government to Cancer Patients is alarmingly low and he will be working towards increasing the subsidy provided by the government to persons suffering from Cancer and other serious illnesses.
With routine screenings, almost all diseases and conditions can be detected at early stages and can be treated with simple medicines and procedures - but in Nepal, due to negligence and poverty, it is only in later stages that people go to health institutions to get themselves checked. In the case of Cancer, early detection might as well be the most important factor in determining the outcome and cost of treatment. It is as important to have a high morale as drugs, radiation and other therapies to beat cancer and get it out from its roots and the cancer survivors attending this event exemplified this principle.
The patients shared their stories of Cancer Survival and treatment in this event and Dolly Gurung Yakthumba, one of the first models of Nepal and a cancer survivor herself, shared her experience at the event where she recalled being confused and even hopeless after learning about her Cancer Diagnosis. She told that counselling and consultation are as important as medicine and other therapies while treating Cancer and it is especially important for Cancer Survivors to tell their story to the public to challenge the social stigma surrounding Cancer