Mrunal Manmay Dash

The life of Manorama Das at Madhapur under Bhadrak’s Chandbali block turned upside down after she was diagnosed with breast cancer four years back.

A mother of two, Das’ husband is a daily wager. The disease not only pushed them into debt, it left the family in mental anguish as well. The suffering is unbearable and any hope of cure is far too distant.

As per reports, Das had a surgery for her cancer earlier and thought it has subsided. But as fate would have it, the disease recurred just two months later sending Das into bouts of severe pain yet again.

“My mother has been suffering from breast cancer. I cannot see her in so much pain anymore. I urge the government to please help her get cured,” pleaded her daughter, Nishi Das.

Madhapur Sarpanch Binod Das said, “We contributed money for her surgery when she first developed cancer. Unfortunately, the cancer has recurred and they do not have any money left. I am trying to get her to the hospital, but I do not know if the villagers can help her financially any more as almost all of them are poor themselves.”

Kana Das, a local of the village said, “Manorama has been suffering since last four years. They have exhausted all their money in her treatment. The villagers contributed money for the first surgery. But this time around, they are helpless. The government should help her in her treatment.”

On the other hand, Laxmi Behera from Balasore’s Simulia has got a new lease of life after winning the fight against cancer. Suffering from oral cancer for quite a few years, thanks to relentless chewing of tobacco, Behera has finally recovered from the deadly disease after surgery.

“At first there was lump in my mouth. The doctors conducted tests and found cancer on it. I underwent a surgery at Cuttack where the doctors cut off my left cheek and adjacent gums and teeth. However, I am good now. Though I cannot chew food, I can steal breath and alive thanks to the doctors.

Urging people to shun tobacco and cigarettes on the Cancer Awareness Day, Behera said, “I suffered due to my bad habits. I request everybody to please never chew tobacco or smoke cigarette unless you want to end up like me.”

National Cancer Awareness Day is observed on November 7 in India every year since 2014 to create public awareness about early detection, prevention, and treatment of cancer.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), cancer is the second leading cause of death worldwide, representing nearly 1 in 6 deaths globally.

In 2020, the International Agency for Research on Cancer’s (IARC) World Cancer Report released by WHO said that Asia shares 49.3% of the total number of global cases of the deadly disease. The report estimated that from 2020-2040, Asia will report an increase of 59.2% in new cases of the disease. The report further stated that one in 10 Indians would develop cancer in their lifetime and one in 15 would die of it.