§ Cancer survivors participate enthusiastically in the celebrations
§ Cricketing legend VVS Laxman salutes the survivors
Hyderabad, December 14th, 2013: The Laryngectomee Society of Apollo hospitals celebrated its 14th anniversary at the Apollo Hospitals, today by sending a strong message to the public that cancer is curable and despite all odds, it is still possible to lead a normal life as cancer survivors. Dr. Umanath Nayak, Head & Neck Cancer surgeon and Founder President of the society said that with the completion of its 14th year in the service of cancer survivors, the society has become a role model for similar self-help groups in cancer rehabilitation. Chief Guest, cricketing legend Mr. VVS Laxman interacted with these cancer survivors and was appreciative of their courage in the face of adversity. The laryngectomees had a one-on-one with him where they posed questions to him on his cricketing experiences and Laxman batted away their questions in his customary classy style.
The Society has over 300 members, many of who actively participated in various activities to convey the message of the success of this society in the rehabilitation of cancer patients. The activities included various competitions to demonstrate their physical fitness and mental agility despite going through the rigors of the disease and its treatment. A copy of the book ”Enduring Cancer - Stories of Hope” by Dr. Umanath Nayak - dealing with true stories of cancer survivors, was presented to Mr. Laxman by Dr. Nayak on the occasion.
The Laryngectomee society is a voluntary self-help rehabilitation group of cancer survivors who have undergone surgery for the removal of their larynx (voice box) as treatment for advanced cancer of the throat. According to Dr. Umanath Nayak, a Consultant Head & Neck Oncologic Surgeon at the Apollo Cancer Hospital, throat cancer is a common cancer in our country; mainly due to the rampant and indiscriminate use of tobacco in all forms. Overall about 12% of all cancers in India are related to the throat. About 1 lakh new throat cancers are diagnosed annually in our country, majority of which are in the advanced stages. Twin cities of Hyderabad & Secunderabad alone account for approximately 1,000 new throat cancer patients every year.
Dr. Nayak adds - one of the important curative treatments for advanced cancer of the throat is a surgery called total laryngectomy involving surgical removal of the larynx (voice-box). The person who has undergone this operation is called a laryngectomee. Laryngectomees cannot speak in the normal way and are trained to speak using special voice restoration methods. In order to rehabilitate these patients, a social service self-help group called the laryngectomee society was formed at the Apollo hospitals in 1999 and this society has been providing guidance and support to laryngectomees from all over the state. The society not only provides voice restoration to these patients, but is also involved in their physical, social, vocational and psychological rehabilitation too.