Treatment Modalities Giving New Lease of Life to End-Stage Lymphoma Patients
32-years-old Sukhjinder Kaur is one such example, who is now living a healthy life after once being told that she won’t survive for more than a couple of months
On the occasion of World Lymphoma Day, experts stress upon spreading awareness around treatment options like Bone Marrow Transplant (BMT), which are giving a chance even to those patients who are diagnosed with terminal Lymphoma (lymphatic cancer) and are left with no hope to survive
On World Lymphoma Day, cancer experts accentuate upon the importance of spreading awareness around treatment options like Bone Marrow Transplant (BMT), which are helping even those patients who have diagnosed with terminal Lymphoma and are often given a few months to live.
The case of 32-year-old Sukhjinder Kaur is one such example where BMT saved the life of a dying patient. Ms Kaur was diagnosed with Lymphoma back in the year 2008 but was treated successfully then. However, in the year 2017, she again started having pain on the right side of the head. MRI revealed a dot, for which she was given steroids. Later upon confirmation of recurrence of Lymphoma, radiation therapy was also added in her treatment plan. But nothing helped, eventually doctors lost hope and told that she would only survive for 2-3 months. It was this desperate time when she decided to contact Dr Rahul Bhargava, Fortis Hospital.
Lymphoma Clinic at Fortis Hospital is only dedicated clinic for Lymphoma in the country which has treated more than 150 patients of Lymphoma so far.
“Ms Kaur contacted us at the end-stage Lymphoma when the disease had spread in her entire body and doctors had told her that she won’t survive for more than a couple of months. When she came to us, she was terminally ill, depressed and overweight due to prolonged steroid use. So the first thing we did was to motivate her to carry on the treatment and keep trust. We did her BMT, which was followed by chemotherapy. It’s been more than two years now, she is not only cancer-free but is living a normal and productive life,” says Dr Rahul Bhargava, Director, Department of Clinical Hematology & Bone Marrow Transplant.
With a reported incidence rate of 2.9/100,000 in men and 1.5/100,000 in women, Lymphoma is considered to be a fairly common cancer in India1. Lymphoma, a condition that develops in white blood cells called lymphocytes, is basically of two types, Hodgkins (develops in the upper body, like neck, chest or armpits) & Non-Hodgkins (may develop in lymph nodes anywhere in the body). According to experts, if diagnosed on time, Lymphoma can be successfully treated with medication, chemotherapy, radiation therapy or stem-cell transplant and Bone Marrow Transplant.
“Early diagnosis plays a key role in Lymphoma treatment. For this, we need to raise awareness about its signs and symptoms and educate people about the significance of timely reporting and diagnosis,” says Dr Bhargava.
Fewer, swollen lymph nodes, night sweats, chest pain, loss in appetite and weight loss, and stomach ache are the most common symptoms of Lymphoma. Any of these symptoms should be reported to the doctor without delay.
“After the diagnosis, the right treatment plan is very important. In India, where cancer is quite common, events like World Lymphoma Day must be used to initiate discussions around safe and effective treatment options like BMT, which have helped improve the clinical outcomes radically. We have patients like Ms Kaur, who have recovered successfully after being declared terminal just because we considered such innovative modules as an important and effective treatment option,” adds Dr Bhargava.
Ms Kaur, mother of the seven-year-old boy is back in her insurance job and is living a very happy and healthy life. She has fully recovered and is declared cancer-free. People like Ms Kaur are not merely cancer survivors but a source of inspiration for all those Lymphoma patients who are either struggling with it or losing hope.