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Cancer survivors now on a quest to help other patients in Kolkata hospital

The total number of cancer patients in West Bengal is about 4 lakh

Subhajoy Roy | Published 04.02.22, 09:04 AM
Representative image

Representative image

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Three cancer survivors will soon work as support staff in a hospital for cancer patients.

The three were diagnosed with cancer at various times over the past 12 years. Their own experiences in battling cancer will help in giving mental strength and courage to the patients who visit the hospital, they said.


A little care while handling patients will give succour to the agonised patients and their families, said doctors. Their work in a hospital will also send a message to patients and their families that one can overcome cancer and lead a normal life, said the survivors.

“If we come across nurses who have survived cancer, we will hire them, too,” said Sourav Datta, director (oncology) at Medica Superspecialty Hospital.

Medica will throw open its 250-bed cancer hospital in April. 

Rima Roy, 46, was diagnosed with breast cancer in June 2019. Her world came crashing down when she first came to know about it. “I had my husband and my son at home. I didn’t know what lay ahead for us,” said Rima, who worked in another hospital as support staff before joining Medica.

Chemotherapy, surgery, radiation and regular check-ups followed over the next few months, till doctors told her she was free to resume her regular activities.

“I never left my job. I needed the money for my treatment. So I worked while the treatment was going on. For the last 18 months, I have been leading life like any other healthy person,” said Rima, who lives in Lake Town in northeast Kolkata.

Rima will have Bimal Saha, 45, and Surojit Mridha, 35, as colleagues in the Medica cancer hospital.

Saha was diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2010. His treatment continued till 2015. Since then he has never found never regular employment. “I am looking forward to helping cancer patients. I had to undergo treatment for five years and I know how agonising it can be,” Saha said.

Mridha was diagnosed with cancer in penis in 2018. His treatment continued for a year. “My wife was the only earning member. Now I will be able to contribute,” he said.  

About 1.08 lakh new cancer cases were diagnosed in Bengal in 2021. The total number of cancer patients in the state is about 4 lakh, said surgical oncologist Gautam Mukhopadhyay.  

“I welcome this move. They should sustain with this initiative,” said Mukhopadhyay.

“This is an attempt on our part to help them lead a normal life. Cancer treatment takes a toll on both health and finances. Instead of giving a one-time donation, we felt we could stand by them with a job. At the same time, their personal experience as cancer survivors would embolden patients who see them,” said Datta.

Last updated on 04.02.22, 09:04 AM

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