Jyoti Sharma, 27, is an Arts graduate from a middle-income family in Ranchi. With a persistent and growing pain in her left breast for over a year-and-a-half, she was unable to lead a regular life and had even quit her job.
Blaming and cursing her fate , she had lost the will to live, and was in utter despair. Her life changed when she visited the ‘Swasth Jharkhand’ screening kiosk run by the Outreach Team of Ranchi Cancer Hospital and Research Centre (RCHRC), at the Ranchi Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) with her mother on October 1, 2022.
RCHRC is a spoke of the Tata Trusts Cancer Care programme, which works to improve cancer care amongst the lesser privileged through initiatives for early detection, affordable health care, and capacity building measures. The Trusts are setting up centres in several locations and working with state governments to build infrastructure and capacity. Community awareness of cancer is a key aspect and the kiosks are a community touchpoint to enable early detection and guidance.
Jyoti shared with the kiosk team that there had been discharge of pus and blood from the affected region of her left breast for the past 18 months. After examining her reports from previous examinations and investigations done by physicians at various other health centres, the team advised them to come to the RCHRC, without any further delay.
But Jyoti was scared and reluctant to go in for treatment, as both she and her family were not convinced it would work. The team then counselled them about the criticality of her condition, and how RCHRC’s effective treatment protocols meant she would be in trustworthy hands.
A couple of days later, Jyoti came to RCHRC. A standardised series of tests including a biopsy, CT scan and blood tests, were conducted. The results confirmed that she had Invasive Ductal Carcinoma (a type of breast cancer), and the doctors explained that she needed surgery on her left breast, urgently. This news was devastating for Jyoti and her family. However, compassionate and empathetic counselling by the Patient Navigator, a member of the RCHRC team, helped them face the confirmed diagnosis with courage and positivity, and agree to get the procedure done.
Jyoti was subsequently operated upon at the RCHRC by an experienced surgical oncologist, who performed a modified radical mastectomy on her left breast. The hospital’s team of specialised doctors and nurses took good care of her, both pre and post-surgery, before she was discharged and advised her for follow up treatment protocol.
A month later, she was put on a standard chemotherapy regimen, and has been recovering well since. The family is in regular touch with her Patient Navigator and staff nurse from the kiosk team, who remind her of upcoming appointments and also help connect her with RCHRC specialists whenever required.
Today, Jyoti is healthier, happier, and much more confident of facing the inevitable. She has a new zest for life, and looks ahead to a brighter future filled with hope.