Celebrities talking about their struggle with cancer can help raise awareness about the disease

Cancer is an abnormal and uncontrollable growth of the body’s cells. Here’s a look at some of the cancers that Bollywood stars have recently beaten.

Myupchar September 13, 2019 14:31:46 IST
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Celebrities talking about their struggle with cancer can help raise awareness about the disease
  • A number of Hindi film celebrities have talked openly about their struggles with cancer - this is an important step to raise awareness about the disease

  • Simply put, cancer is an abnormal and uncontrollable growth of the bodyÃ���Ã�¯Ã�¿Ã�½Ã���Ã��Ã�¢Ã���Ã��Ã�¯Ã���Ã��Ã�¿Ã���Ã��Ã�½Ã���Ã��Ã�¯Ã���Ã��Ã�¿Ã���Ã��Ã�½s cells

  • Depending on where it starts, cancer can be of different types and subtypes

Over the last few years, a number of Hindi film celebrities have talked openly about their struggles with cancer - this is an encouraging trend, and an important step to raise awareness about a disease that is on the rise in India.

Obviously, not all cancers are the same. And the movie stars had different forms of the disease. Simply put, cancer is an abnormal and uncontrollable growth of the body’s cells. Depending on where it starts, it can be of different types and subtypes. Here’s a quick look at some of the cancers that Bollywood actors have beaten in the recent past.

Throat cancer

Early this year, actor Hrithik Roshan posted on Instagram that his father Rakesh Roshan had been diagnosed with early-stage squamous cell carcinoma of the throat - a type of cancer that affects the inner lining of the throat.

Doctors can use a variety of tests for a diagnosis. Chief among them: physical examination, scans, a video stroboscopy (in which the doctors insert a flexible tube with a camera at one end through the nostril, to look inside the throat), and a biopsy to take a tissue sample and look for any cancerous growths.

Neuroendocrine tumour

This is a rare type of cancer that affects the body’s neuroendocrine cells - they have a dual role as nerve cells and endocrine cells (meaning they can produce hormones). The disease usually affects the digestive system, though it can occur elsewhere in the body, too. Diagnosis is difficult, and oncologists use a combination of lab tests, physical examination and genetic testing to confirm the presence of the disease. 

Actor Irrfan Khan used Twitter to announce to his fans that he had been diagnosed with this condition. Thereafter, he spent a year in the U.K. for treatment and returned to India in February.

Ovarian cancer

Early this year, actor Manisha Koirala launched her new book, Healed: How Cancer Gave Me A New Life. The Saudagar actress was diagnosed in 2012 with ovarian cancer. This itself can be of three types, based on where it occurs in the ovaries. Epithelial tumours begin in the tissue lining the outside of the ovaries. Stromal tumours are abnormal cell growth in the cells that produce hormones. And finally, tumours in the egg-producing cells in the ovaries are call germ cell tumours.

Often, women with ovarian cancer don’t find out about the disease till has spread to the pelvic region and the abdomen. Doctors declared Koirala cancer-free in 2015.

High-grade cancer

This one is a bit of a curveball but bear with us.

Last year, actor Sonali Bendre Behl announced on Twitter that she had been diagnosed with “high-grade cancer” that had metastasized.


Cancer isn’t one disease - it has different types, stages, and grades. The National Health Service, U.K., explains the difference between stage and grade on its website: “The stage of a cancer describes the size of a tumour and how far it has spread from where it originated. The grade describes the appearance of the cancerous cells.”

While cancers have five stages from zero to four, it has three grades. When oncologists say that cancer has metastasized, it means it has spread from where it originated. While Bendre Behl hasn't shared where in her body she got cancer, her announcement served to raise awareness around these distinctions between grades and stages of cancer.

The world over, celebrities are taking the lead to talk about medical conditions. This is a good sign: once we start shedding the stigma around these diseases, people who need medical treatment will likely seek diagnosis and help at earlier and earlier stages of the disease, when they have the best chances of survival.

Health articles in Firstpost are written by myUpchar.com, India’s first and biggest resource for verified medical information. At myUpchar, researchers and journalists work with doctors to bring you information on all things health. To know more on this topic, please read Cancer: Types, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment.

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