As a surgical oncologist, I am involved in a lot of breast cancer work. Breast cancer is the most common cancer in Mumbai, even if you put males and females together. It accounts for 30% of all cancers in women.
Why even have such an online community? There are many of them world wide?
- Breast cancer is often treated by surgeons, and sometimes even gynecologists in India, and even in a city like Mumbai (An oncologist is never involved!); resulting in an inadequate or incorrect treatment and this directly impacts the survival of the patient. Hence, a platform is needed where patients can discuss with others and get their doubts clear, and probably ensure they are on the right track.
- Women undergoing treatment for breast cancer in India (or anywhere in the world, for that matter) undergo a lot of depression; and many, rather, most of them keep to themselves, they find it very difficult to share their problems with others.In India, many of them are still worried about the social stigma. It is very essential that we give a helping hand to such women, ease them out of their depression. Believe me, half the depression is because of incorrect facts or erroneous assumptions in their minds, which if corrected, will definitely relieve them of all the pain. The forum aims to provide a platform for the same.
- More than an oncologist, people who have been touched by breast cancer (either themselves or their relatives)( or any other cancer for that matter), can often give an excellent support to those suffering from the same or their families. Their experience will be invaluable to many others who are undergoing treatment. There are many non conventional remedies to reduce side effects, and ensure a good healthy living, which even oncologists may not know about. A healthy sharing of knowledge can be very beneficial.
So to sum up, at present, there is not a single online community for Indian breast cancer patients. Internet is the only way to reach the maximum number of women and it is our
endeavor to provide a platform headed by survivors and relatives who have had a lot of experience, as well as oncologists, so we can cover medical as well as psycho social
aspects of this disease.
Breast Cancer, be not proud! We have arrived!