Experts stress importance of open dialogue on cancer

Published On: February 26, 2024 11:33 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Feb 26: Experts emphasized the reluctance of even celebrities to openly discuss their battles with cancer during an interaction program ‘MediaTalk series’ with social science students of St Xavier's College on Sunday. They highlighted the negative portrayal of cancer by media outlets and stressed the need for accurate and effective communication regarding the disease.

Dr Sandhya Chapagain, a radiation oncologist at Bir Hospital, emphasized that the presence of cancer cells in the human body does not mean 'the end of life'. She highlighted the advancements in medical science, particularly sophisticated interventions, enabled doctors to effectively cure cancers. Consequently, there is no need for a person with carcinoma to panic, but follow their physicians.

Sworupa Shrestha, a cancer activist, sharing her experiences and encounters with cultural challenges in cancer campaigns, emphasized the significance of community-level awareness. She highlighted the pervasive and powerful influence of the media, warning that individuals need to be cautious on the content they consume.

Chun Bahadur Gurung, Faculty Coordinator of MediaTalk series (since 2019), underlined the need for a transformative shift in how people express and discuss cancer care. "I've witnessed individuals leading normal lives after overcoming carcinoma. It should not be perceived as a death sentence," he said, adding, "The negative narrative associated with cancer must be rectified with accurate and effective communication."

Fr Boby Joseph, SJ, the director, concluded the series by presenting tokens of appreciation to the guest speakers. As a symbol of solidarity with the cancer care campaign, students and speakers left their thumbprints. The series aimed to sensitize students about cancer care and dispel misconceptions.



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