Mahima Chaudhry reveals breast cancer diagnosis, shares her story of courage
A bevy of women are hit by breast cancer every year. And the numbers are on a rise. In fact, according to a report by the Indian Council for Medical Research, the number of people suffering from cancers in India is projected to increase to 29.8 million in 2025. And breast cancer accounts for 10.5% of that total 40 percent cancer disease burden on Indians. Over the recent past, several noted women have come forward to open up about their cancer battle, giving other fighters the emotional strength to fight it. This time, Bollywood actress Mahima Chaudhry has mustered the courage to share her breast cancer diagnosis and treatment story through social media.
The Pardes actress’ condition was revealed by actor Anupam Kher on social media via a video post. It was when he called her to offer her a role in his film, The Signature, when he found out that Mahima was fighting breast cancer. In fact, she was getting her infusions done at a hospital when she received the senior actor’s call!
In the video, Chaudhary got emotional about how Anupam Kher was supportive of her condition. She was touched that he let her be a part of the project as she was, without having to wear a wig to cover her hair loss due to treatment. Anupam Kher even called her a ‘HERO’ in her Instagram post and even told her, “We don’t have real-life heroes and that’s what we are looking for,” as he revealed her story of courage.
“Her attitude will give hope to so many women all over the world,” wrote the actor, adding how Mahima is back on sets and “ready to fly”.
As it happens, Anupam Kher’s wife, actor-politician Kirron Kher was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a type of blood cancer, in 2021. She continues to be an example of being unstoppable.
Over the past few years, several women in Bollywood — from yesteryear actress Mumtaz to writer-director Tahira Kashyap Khurrana to Sonali Bendre and Lisa Ray – have opened up about their struggles with different forms of cancer., with a strong will to fight and early detection of cancer.
Check out Anupam Kher’s post on Mahima Chaudhary’s breast cancer diagnosis.
What is breast cancer?
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “Breast cancer arises in the lining cells (epithelium) of the ducts (85%) or lobules (15%) in the glandular tissue of the breast. Over time, the cancer may progress and invade the surrounding breast tissue, nearby lymph nodes or to other organs in the body. If a woman dies from breast cancer, it is because of widespread metastasis.”
How did Mahima Chaudhary find out she has breast cancer?
“I had no symptoms of cancer and it was diagnosed in my routine yearly checkups,” Chaudhary said in her Instagram video. She revealed how the person who was doing her checkup told her to meet an oncologist, who then informed her that she had pre-cancer cells, which can or cannot become cancer. After her biopsy, she was not diagnosed with cancer but the tiny cells that were removed from her body, some of them did become cancerous. She had to undergo chemotherapy, and says, “I am totally fine now, and recovered.”
Why is early diagnosis of breast cancer important?
It is because of her early identification that the actress could be treated soon. Hence, it is vital to understand that treatment can be highly effective, if the disease is identified early. All women, past the age of 30, should self-diagnose their condition and check for the presence of lumps or masses that might be cancerous outgrowths. Lack of awareness and poor early screening are one of the major causes of breast cancer deaths.
How to battle the cancer diagnosis mentally?
In the video, Chaudhry mentioned how she didn’t even inform her parents because everyone is terrified of the word ‘cancer’. However, she learnt from a lot of women who came to chemotherapy, and went directly to work. She recalled how a young boy, who was getting treated for cancer, actually told her that it is the medicine that’s making him better and he’s able to play. Looking at them, she felt that battling her condition with a strong mind is important.
What can you do to reduce your risk?
According to Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one can influence the breast cancer risk by following these simple tips:
- Maintaining a healthy weight.
- Exercising regularly.
- Limiting alcoholic drinks.
- Minimizing use of hormone replacement therapy or oral contraceptives.
- Breastfeeding your children, if possible.