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First bite after a year

A 64-year-old cancer patient from the UK, who could not eat solid food for more than a year, has been successfully operated upon in a city hospital.

Shobjan Bibi was diagnosed with oesophagus cancer in 2004. “She recovered after radiotherapy and chemotherapy,” said her son Forid Miah, who runs a takeaway food stall in London. The cancer relapsed in end-2006 and she was taken to a UK hospital. “My mother could not eat anything solid. She would throw up even after drinking water,” added Forid.

After three cycles of chemotherapy, there was no regression. The UK doctors said the tumour was inoperable because of its size and her age. The family then decided to bring her to Calcutta.

The oesophagus tube was taken out in a seven-hour surgery and a new tube reconstructed at Apollo Gleneagles Hospital last month. On Tuesday, Shobjan ate semi-solid food. “It was a difficult surgery made even more tough after radiation therapy. The diseased part of the oesophagus has been taken out,” said Saikat Gupta, a surgical oncologist at Apollo.

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