The Telegraph
Wednesday , July 11 , 2012
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Cancer care for Swede

Calcuttans may choose to go to south India or Mumbai for cancer treatment but a 72-year-old Swedish woman selected a private hospital in the city to get her colon cancer treated after failing to get a surgery date in her country before August.

Ulla Genstromer, a retired sports instructor, was diagnosed with colon cancer in May. In Sweden, where most hospitals are government-run, there’s a long waiting time for patients like Genstromer. So she was asked to wait till August, said her son-in-law, Roger Undhagen.

Her family, unwilling to wait, started to look for places where they could get the operation performed at once.

“At first, when my son-in-law told me he had gathered that India would be a good choice for the surgery, I was rather taken aback,” smiled Genstromer on Tuesday.

“I think differently now,” she was quick to add.

On Tuesday, just before her discharge from Ruby General Hospital, where the operation took place on June 30, she said getting a surgery done within five days of arriving and going back cancer-free in just 15 days was “amazing”. She had been admitted on June 26.

“My doctor (Gautam Mukhopadhyay) told me I could be back on the golf course in a month or so and that is the best part for me,” said the elated septuagenarian.

Mukhopadyay, who led the team of 10 doctors who performed the operation, said it was a critical operation because the patient had a heart condition that made the anaesthetist’s job very challenging.

Subir Ganguly, a clinical oncologist in the government sector, said the operation proved both that Calcutta oncologists were capable of dealing with critical cases while providing world-class facilities.