Post updated in August 2016
I visited Kashmir in June this year.Before all hell broke loose.
Once again paradise was bloodstained.Blames and counter blame.
You really can’t imagine India without its beautiful soul .That’s Kashmir.
This idyllic valley is breathtaking, heartbreaking.
The people are beautiful, the children are adorable.The mountains are majestic and there are flowers everywhere.
I wrote about my magical trip to Pahalgam.But I delayed writing about Srinagar .
I met the beautiful Mrs Sita Paintal and her equally charming daughter Dr.Surita Sarda Paintal … at the heritage hotel Dar-Es -Salaam.
Like all friendships between travellers who meet fleetingly.
This was a message from the heavens.At eighty-six,Mrs Sita is a cancer survivor .She was diagnosed with Chronic myeloid leukaemia( a form of blood cancer 11 years back.She fought for her life and is currently living disease free .
She has also been the caregiver of two of her siblings, who battled breast cancer.
But unlike many her age she is not one to talk about her many pains and aches.
Instead, she talks about living live meaningfully.
Of appreciating life and beauty.
She talks about how she is still driving and loves the independence her driving license gives her.
She is ex-president Indian Cancer Society -Cancer Sahiyog.
When one is a caregiver for a cancer patient it is draining.
Cancer Sahiyog helps these people .They give strength hope and a helping hand.
Their team works towards giving them life skills to cope with and survive .Live life with cancer and live after cancer with purpose.
- They are doing wonderful work by tying up with several hospitals like:
AIIMS Institute Rotarian Cancer hospital
- They provide emotional support and medical support assistance: One lakh the first year and 1lakh 2nd year.
You need all your investigstions ,doctors prescription in curative cancer to apply for help.
Directly money is not given.This helps in directing proper use of resources.
Attending seminars giving lectures at conferences,visiting hospitals to help those who need her,Mrs Sita Paintal is an extraordinary woman.She visits various cities in India and outside to spread the message of a healthier life.
The most important lesson I learned from her is to love life .To love what you can bring to the table ,in any relationship.
Travelling all over the world sometimes alone sometimes with family.Planning on doing more.
Lifestyle Tips to live without cancer( with advice from Mrs Sita Paintal):
- Eat healthy always.
- Avoid fries,sugary, food.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Eat fresh fruits and veggies.A high consumption of fruit and vegetables helps reduce risk for lung cancer
- Have fish.
Current evidence blames omega-6 fatty acids in the cancers and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and omega-9 monounsaturated fatty acids as being protective ( 1).
- Avoid or less red meat.
- Eat less salt.Low-sodium varieties.Avoid processed food.
- No smoking ,drinking or any substance abuse
Exercise lowers the risk for lung cancer .It also has a protective effect on colon cancer.
Breast cancer:Physically active women have about a 20-30% reduction in risk, compared with inactive women. 30-60 min. of moderate to vigorous-intensity physical activity is needed to decrease the risk of breast cancer.
I have written about the many health benefits of Vitamin D.It’s also cancer protective.But your serum level of Vitamin D should be around 30ng/ml.
HPV, Hepatitis B vaccination is a good preventive option.HPV causes cervical cancer and HBV is a risk factor in liver cancer.
#Avoid risky behaviours:
Practice safe sex. HIV , HPV,Hepatitis B, C are all STD. HIV or AIDS have a higher risk of cancer of the anus, liver HPV most often associated with cervical cancer.
Don’t share needles. Sharing needles with an infected person:risk of HIV,HBV,HCV.
(If you have any drug abuse history talk to your doctor)
Breast self-examination can detect early lumps .Early detection goes a long way on improving chances of cure..Diagnostic screenings for various cancers — such as cancer of the skin, colon, cervix and breast if needed.
#Other lifestyle measures:
- Be grateful
- Have faith
Don’t forget to live and love life.
Mrs Sita Paintal taught me that.
How can you prevent cancer?
It is apparently simple and complex at the same time.
A natural food based healthy diet,exercise,avoidance of alcohol smoking drugs,controlling weight,decreasing stress all are possible.But it’s a choice.
The choice is yours.If awareness can help.Then maybe someone somewhere can help.Research shows any social movement is most successful when women are involved.That’s why I try to help women.Because I know you will spread the word.
Mrs.Sita Paintal passed away peacefully in her sleep .
She had a family history of breast cancer which she was very aware of.But she herself had leukemia. She had always lived healthy.
So why ?
Unfortunately cancer can be caused by heriditary genetic factors as well sudden mutations.
Sientifically all cancer cannot be prevented 100%.
But living healthy ,you can prevent those which are lifestyle related like lung cancer,liver cancer,laryngeal cancer.
Mrs Paintal is now amongst the angels.But her story lives on.That’s what I have learnt.I am a doctor .I believe in scientific evidence. But I also believe in the power of the” mind”.
I believe miracles do happen.Because we see them everyday.Believing you can live healthy is an inner battle.
Death is inevitable. But a life well lived is an example.
What’s your experience with a healthy lifestyle?
Comment and let me know.