A tale of three cancer survivors: Mother, daughter and granddaughter conquer the disease  

It’s often said that a family that stays together, triumphs together. Showing an awe-inspiring family spirit, a Bengaluru family is giving us major ‘togetherness’ goals on this World Cancer Day (February 4th)  

A tale of three cancer survivors: Mother, daughter and granddaughter conquer the disease
Image Source: Google

Self-pity is easier to resort to when faced with a crisis like cancer. Few women have a strong urge to survive against this deadly disease. Leela (name changed) was treated for breast cancer about a few years back. Everything went on well, till she actually realised that both, her mother and daughter suffer from different kinds of cancer. All the three have been treated by the same doctor and are doing absolutely fine now.

Leela, a middle aged woman, had come to Columbia Asia Referral Hospital Yeshwanthpur with a lump in her breast. Clinical examination and a basic ultrasound report diagnosed it as breast cancer, at its second stage.

She was devastated as the news broke upon her and toppled her world upside down. However, she was very lucky to have the strong emotional support of her mother and daughter, assisting her during these tough times.

A tale of three cancer survivors: Mother, daughter and granddaughter conquer the disease
Dr Neelesh Reddy

Dr Neelesh Reddy, Consultant Medical Oncologist at Columbia Asia Referral Hospitals, Bengaluru, who was treating her at the time, advised her to start the treatment immediately.

“There is a good chance of a cure, if breast cancer is diagnosed at an early stage. We began the first test after physical evaluation with an X-ray of the breast known as mammography. This was followed by biopsy and few imaging tests, on confirmation from the diagnosis and confirmation from the results that it was indeed breast cancer and we decided to go for a surgical removal of the affected breast (Mastectomy) followed by radiotherapy treatment which uses high energy beams of radiation focused on cancerous tissue to kill cancer cells or stop them from multiplying,” said Dr Reddy.

Leela was happy to be cured of the deadly disease, only to notice a couple of years later that her daughter Smitha (name changed) was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in its third stage. She was admitted and treated under Dr Reddy.

“She underwent removal of her ovaries, and fallopian tubes, along with maximum removal of the tumour and sampling of lymph nodes and other tissues in the pelvis and abdomen that were suspected of harbouring ovarian cancer. Today all the side effects of chemotherapy have resolved and her disease remains in remission,” said Dr Reddy.

Recently, Leela’s 70-year-old mother was diagnosed with breast cancer in its fourth stage. She too was treated under Dr Reddy

“She was too frail and most of her body immunity was exhausted. We advised her to undergo a systemic therapy which included hormone therapy and targeted therapy. This works with most women with stage IV breast cancer, systemic (drug) therapies are the main treatments like hormone therapy, as it reaches cancer cells almost anywhere in the body and not just in the breast,” said Dr Reddy.

It had been a year-long battle for her now, keeping in mind her age and the stage of cancer, she may have to be on hormonal therapy for a few more years. The support of her daughter and granddaughter has kept her positive and strong willed to fight the cancer and get back to her family to rejoice. Staying together during these hard times often brings the family closer, or so this family proves!