Guwahati, Dec. 16: For the doctors and patients at the B. Borooah Cancer Institute here, cricketer Yuvraj Singh is a true victor.
The cricketer, who successfully battled cancer and has hit the crease again, has become an inspiration for the institute, which is the lone such facility in the Northeast.
Director Amal Chandra Kataki told The Telegraph that they were planning to approach Yuvraj to visit the institute and inspire patients to fight the disease. He said they had sought help from different organisations, including Assam Cricket Association, to find a way to approach him.
The BBCI, which was set up in the memory of Bhubaneswar Borooah, an eminent physician, freedom fighter and philanthropist, became operational from 1974. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh visited the institute in April this year and inaugurated facilities like a state-of-art linear accelerator machine, the first of its kind in the Northeast.
Singer Zubeen Garg is the institute’s brand ambassador.
“It is amazing and very inspiring to see how Yuvraj fought and conquered cancer and started playing again for India. Cricket is his life. Half the battle with cancer can be won if every cancer patient adopts an attitude towards life like Yuvraj. We hope he will accept our invitation,” Kataki said.
He said cancer patients and their relatives went through a kind of physical, mental and emotional trauma which mere medical treatment could not alleviate. “The BBCI has been using creative therapy to help cancer patients overcome their mental and emotional trauma and thereby help them lead normal lives. The therapy can be simply defined as the use of art to promote healing. Art in this sense addresses the physical, emotional and spiritual needs that accompany a cancer diagnosis.”
The therapy involves creative activities like poetry writing and painting along with get-togethers, interaction with motivators, visits to museums and other places of interest.
An oncologist at the institute said the plan to approach Yuvraj was part of the institute’s creative therapy. “The creative therapy endeavour helps patients express stifled emotions. It has a medical angle too. Creativity boosts positive energy, which, in turn, strengthens the immune system and helps fight cancer better. Many people with cancer lose the motivation to live and this is where the therapy works best.”
Assam has the highest number of patients with cancer of the oesophagus, pharynx (or throat), larynx and gallbladder in the country with betel nut and tobacco chewing being the major contributors. Cancer cases are also rising alarmingly in Barak Valley, with Cachar having the highest number of laryngeal cancer cases in the country — 13.9 persons per lakh.