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Elekta | Focus Magazine

Leaving cervical cancer nowhere to hide

Brachytherapy

Every year more than half a million women are diagnosed with cervical cancer around the world

Suryavathi Kanda

Suryavathi Kanda, 39, and her family, consisting of her husband and now young adult children, run a small dairy business in Andhra Pradesh, India. It is hard work, so when Suryavathi learned that she had cervical cancer, she immediately started to worry. What would happen to the family business if she could not work? And would the hospital bills drain their savings and bring them into debt?

Meeting Dr. Umesh Mahantshetty at the Homi Bhabha Cancer Hospital & Research Centre put her at ease. He reassured her that her condition was treatable and that she would receive a combination of chemotherapy, external beam radiation therapy and brachytherapy, where a small radiation source is inserted into the body near or inside the tumor.

“I wasn’t troubled much with that procedure, and now I’m absolutely fine. My treatment was completed quickly and I’m now able to do my household chores.”

“Before the brachytherapy, the doctor told me my disease was already 75-80 percent treated. He said the remaining 25 percent would be cured if I underwent this therapy,” she explains. “I wasn’t troubled much with that procedure, and now I’m absolutely fine. My treatment was completed quickly and I’m now able to do my household chores.”

“There are treatments and you can be cured.”

That means getting up very early in the morning to have breakfast with her husband, tending to her household tasks, preparing the dairy equipment and extracting ghee (a clarified butter) to sell at shops. Her message for women who find themselves in her position is one of hope: “There are treatments and you can be cured.”

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