One of the most difficult battles one may encounter is the fight against cancer. It’s because cancer severely weakens your mental and physical health. It takes tremendous courage to endure the arduous and tumultuous process of medications and treatments such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy and more.
Consequently, we can call them brave warriors as they have endured this arduous and painful path for some time. However, cancer itself is a big weight but being in the spotlight while fighting this dreadful cancer is daunting.
In light of India’s National Cancer Awareness Day, it is only fair to commemorate those who went through the battle with this deadly disease and came out as winners.
Here is a list of Indian celebrities who defeated the horrendous cancer:
Mamta Mohandas survived cancer not once but twice.
The actress and singer from the Malayalam industry, have acted in several Tamil movies such as Enemy, Sivappathigaram, Guru En Aalu and Jana Gana Mana, Mamta was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2009. It’s a type of cancer that affects the body’s lymph nodes. She was in her 20s and very new to the film industry as well. It was the beginning of a 7-year-long battle with the disease for the actress. Mamta had a relapse in 2013 following a failed bone marrow transplant.
Following that, in 2016, she moved to the United States of America to undergo continual treatment. She was one of the first to be part of a clinical trial for FDA approved drug called nivolumab (Opdivo) for the treatment of patients with classical Hodgkin lymphoma.
In 2019, when the world of social media was hooked to the #10-year challenge, Mamta too participated in it, reflecting on her journey with cancer.
“As it’s WORLD CANCER DAY, I had decided that my #10yearchallenge will have to wait until today “I GOT CANCER… CANCER DIDN’T GET ME” (sic),” she began her Instagram post.
Who doesn’t know this brilliant actress?
Gautami is an Indian actress, social worker, costume designer, and politician who has predominantly worked in Tamil and Telugu entertainment industries while also working in several Malayalam, Hindi, and Kannada films. She is one of the leading South Indian female actors from 1987 to 1998 who were ruling the industry back then.
Gautami faced cancer at the age of 35 and ever since it has been a long road to recovery for her. “My fight with cancer changed my outlook towards life. I don’t take it for granted anymore. Every single day counts and we must live it to the fullest. Making small changes in our daily routine actually adds value to life,” she says.
When Gautami was diagnosed, her daughter was just five years old. “She has played a pivotal role in fighting cancer,” says Gautami, adding, “This is what I have been spreading the word about.”
“I realised that after I thought life was over, there was life again. It’s with that thought that I and a close circle of friends have started Life Again Foundation,” says Gautami, who now actively works through a network of volunteers and NGOs across cities in helping cancer patients.
Our motto is to lend a helping hand in whichever way possible to cancer fighters. It really takes courage to fight against something which you don’t know whether you will conquer- Gautami Tadimalla
Mudhalvan fame actress is also one of the brave warriors who fought cancer.
Monisha Koirala is an actress from the Tamil and Hindi film Industries who gave blockbuster movies such as Mudhalvan, Indian, Alavandhan, Bombay and Mapillai (New). In 2012, she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer when she was 42 years old. After a long fight, she was declared cancer-free in 2015.
Monisha had also undergone treatment in the US. Back in 2018, speaking to a news portal, Manisha shared that the diagnosis and the treatment changed her as a person.
She also added, “We need to spread awareness of the disease, and all the stories that are filled with hope need to be told and retold. Let’s be kind to ourselves and to the world. I’d pray for everyone’s health and well-being. Thank you.”
During her treatment, she went through psychological breakdowns. Since she survived the disease, she started supporting various NGOs and organizations that help cancer patients. She launched her autobiography – Healed: How Cancer Gave Me A New Life -on 8th January 2018 in Mumbai. In addition, she opened up about her ordeal with cancer and emerging as a survivor in her book.
KGF 2 star, Sanjay Dutt is also a cancer survivor.
Sanjay Dutt is an Indian actor who primarily works in Hindi cinema and is very famous for his role in KGF 2. He was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer in August 2020.
Two months later, Sanjay shared a health update saying he has come out victorious in his battle with the deadly disease. While Sanjay was undergoing treatment for cancer, doctors told him that there was a 50-50 per cent chance.
When Sanjay defeated cancer, he posted a statement on Instagram expressing joy while making the announcement. “The last few weeks were very difficult time for my family and me. But like they say, God gives the hardest battles to his strongest soldiers. And today, on the occasion of my kids’ birthday, I am happy to come out victorious from this battle and be able to give them the best gift I can-the health and well-being of our family,”
Only with 2 movies in Tamil, this Bollywood actress captured the hearts of many.
Sonali Bendre, is an actress who acted in the romantic Tamil movie, Kadhalar Dhinam back in 1999 and gave massive hits in the Bollywood film industry.
In 2018, Sonali Bendre was diagnosed with metastatic cancer, had a 30% chance of survival and the actress spent several months at a hospital in New York for treatment. She revealed that during her treatment her husband and son supported him throughout and helped her gain all the willpower and strength to fight the disease.
On National Cancer Survivors Day 2021, Sonali revisited her cancer battle and shared a motivational post on her social media handles. She shared a before and after picture of herself and wrote, “How time flies… today when I look back, I see strength, I see weakness but most importantly I see the will to not let the C-word define how my life will be after it… You create the life you choose. The journey is what you make of it… so remember to take #One Day At A Time and to #Switch On The Sunshine.”
Cancer is a word, not a sentence. Cancer is NOT a death sentence. It’s just one word in your sentence; one part of your life.