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16 Jun 2024, Edition - 3260, Sunday

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Health Matters

Ending ‘Cancerism’ Through Happiness Sundays



H.O.P.E. or Holistic Oncology Patient Empathy is a start-up that believes that without ‘cancerism’, cancer patients will be able to fully battle cancer and have a better chance of beating it.

For about 50 cancer “warriors” and family members, it was a rare opportunity to laugh out aloud and enjoy a few relaxed hours without worrying about the arduous treatment needed to
combat cancer.

They had gathered for a workshop organized on 29 October to mark the launch of the “End Cancerism and The Happiness Sundays” initiative by H.O.P.E. Oncology Care Clinic in association with Papa CJ Happiness Project.

Well-known stand-up comedian Papa CJ entertained those present with an hour-long comedy act. He went on to host a laughter yoga workshop for the patients, attending families, doctors and staff. Senior doctors then had group discussions with cancer patients and survivors.

Papa CJ, whose job title reads ‘Ambassador of Happiness’, said, “This initiative is aimed at helping cancer warriors rediscover laughter and joy during cancer treatment”.

Judgement free attitude needed

Explaining the initiative, Dr. Amish Vora, Co-Founder H.O.P.E. Oncology Care Clinic, said, “We live in a world still filled with prejudices, but one type of discrimination many of us fail to acknowledge is something we at H.O.P.E. refer to as ‘cancerism'”.

The term describes the various forms of neglect and emotional damage cancer patients receive from the outside world once they are diagnosed, “so much so that they feel more like an alien than a human being,” he pointed out.

“We believe that without cancerism, patients will be able to fully battle cancer and have a better chance of beating it,” added another Co-Founder, Aditya Talwar. He hoped that programmes like these would promote a judgement-free attitude towards cancer patients.

H.O.P.E. or “Holistic Oncology Patient Empathy” is a start-up founded on three principal beliefs: serving as a one-stop solution for majority of the needs of a cancer patient, especially from the
chemotherapy perspective; combating “cancerism” or the stigma attached to cancer that it could be terminal, and “cankind” or providing a more human and happy interface, enabling patients to live a more normal life while they are undergoing treatment.

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