Cancer survivor urges community to stay positive

2016-10-20 06:00
Maalthie Khandha is a cancer survivor and is raising awareness about the disease in her community.  Photo: andile sithole

Maalthie Khandha is a cancer survivor and is raising awareness about the disease in her community. Photo: andile sithole

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A TONGAAT mother Maalthi Kandha (56), says cancer can be manageable only when the signs and symptoms are diagnosed and treated at an early stage.

She was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 1987 at RK Khan Hospital, but has remained mentally positive ever since.

“I was very sick and had vaginal bleeding that continued for a long time. I remember the first day I suspected there was something wrong.

“I then went to the doctor for a consultation. The doctor gave me treatment for the bleeding, but it continued. So I had to get a letter from the doctor to go to hospital.

“I did all my tests in hospital [and was diagnosed with cancer­] and the doctors immediately gave me a date to have a hysterectomy [surgical operation to remove part of the womb],” she said.

For the past 27 years Kandha’s family have been very supportive and encouraged her to stay positive.

“When doctors told me that I had ovarian cancer and that my ovaries would be removed, I was traumatised.

“When I was discharged from hospital, my husband and children were very supportive. In that way I managed to stay positive, walking with my head held high that one day I will beat cancer,” she said.

Although she was on the road to recovery after her ovaries were removed, she feared the disease could return.

However, the doctors had good news for her at her follow-up appointment.

Kandha went for cancer tests at hospital and when the results came back doctors told her she was in remission.

“I got an alternative ayurvedic treatment from a doctor from India after I went for the operation and I think it played a major part in reducing cancer symptoms. I felt like I conquered the world,” Kandha said.

Kandha is now living a positive life and encourages community members to go for checkups every year.

She is a volunteer at a senior citizens’ club in Shakaskraal.

“I offer my nursing services to the community and motivate cancer patients to stay positive.

“I always encourage the senior citizens at the club to go for checkups because cancer is a silent killer.

“I volunteered to give the community my services because it is importance to encourage them to stay positive,” she said.

Kandha goes for regular checkups at Mediclinic Victoria in Tongaat to confirm that she has defeated cancer.

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