At 98, he battled cancer and won

Published: 21st June 2013 07:58 AM  |   Last Updated: 21st June 2013 07:58 AM   |  A+A-


Appaswamy celebrated his 100th birthday in April this year after battling a difficult and inoperable lung cancer at 98.

On a typical day, Appaswamy, a resident of Domlur,  starts his day at 7.30 am with coffee, a morning walk and thorough reading of a newspaper. At 100 plus, he still makes frequent trips to the nearby shop to buy milk.

Addressing reporters on Thursday, the centenarian spoke of the ordeals of suffering from cancer when he was almost 100, and how normalcy was finally restored.

Two years ago, the former foreman at Central Ordnance Factory in Jabalpur experienced difficulty in breathing and had persistent cough, cold and vomiting.

When he was taken to a local clinic, he was given basic treatment. Little did he know that he actually had a tumour measuring 3.8 cm lurking in the upper part of his left lung.

Appaswamy was then referred to a city hospital by a neighbour. Dr Nalini Rao, consultant radiation oncologist at the hospital, said, “A CT scan confirmed that he had a lung lesion. To check for the possibility of a cancer, we did a tissue biopsy which clearly showed a malignancy.”

Surgery was not an option for Appaswamy’s as he was too old. This put his family in deeper agony. “We were doubtful about him withstanding such an invasive procedure at such an age,” said his son Lt Col A Raman.

At this point, doctors suggested CyberKnife Robotic Radiosurgery, a cancer treatment system to treat tumours and lesions when surgery is risky. “This treatment is a simple OPD procedure. It is painless except for an injection of gold seeds that help the robot detect the tumour,” said Dr Kumaraswamy, senior consultant radiation oncologist at the hospital explained. 

Advising cancer patients to not hesitate to take any required treatment, Appaswamy said,  “Whether it is just cough or cold, or even a bigger disease, one should always obtain treatment. I am a happy man now, thanks to the treatment.”


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