Every year, the month of October is observed as Breast Cancer Awareness Month (BCAM) throughout the globe to raise awareness regarding the impacts of this form of cancer. Breast Cancer is the uncontrolled proliferation of abnormal cells in the breast. After skin cancer, breast cancer is one of the most common carcinomas in the world. It mainly stems due to DNA mutation that instructs the cells to grow out of control and become rouge.
According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, every ten minutes a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer. The primary goal of BCAM is to express a sense of solidarity with breast cancer warriors and survivors across the world. With activists and prominent notables of different genres across the globe spreading awareness regarding the detection, prevention and treatment of breast cancer, how can our very own B-town celebrities remain behind?
Don’t we all feel jealous of the perfect lives of Bollywood celebs and wish to have the same? But not all that glitters is gold. They too have their fair stake of ups and downs just like us and have been tormented with lethal diseases. Cancer is one such long-standing battle that has simply distorted the lives of many of our loved B-townies! These Bollywood celebs are applauded not only for their glamorous roles and acting abilities but also for inspiring and being a constant source of motivation in every step of life.
In an industry that is full of pretence, publicity, fame game and allure, it is quite arduous to find real heroes with inspiring stories that are motivating and plausible. With time, the industry has seen an exemplary shift where women have come to the forefront with their stories in both reel and the real world. Not only do they singularly star and make the movie a hit but also they have increasingly opened up about their personal stories, the numerous challenges they have faced, and the battles that they fought in their personal lives.
Many Indian actresses have been diagnosed with breast cancer; while some have beaten the odds, others are still battling and encouraging their millions of admirers to keep fighting for life. On the occasion of Breast Cancer Awareness Month 2022, here, we have curated a list for our readers to meet those brave and beautiful women from the Indian film industry who have or are combatting cancer.
Bollywood Actresses Who Fought Breast Cancer
In 2018, author-turned-director, Tahira Kashyap and spouse of actor Ayushmann Khurrana was diagnosed with Stage 0 breast cancer. Unlike many normal people, on getting diagnosed with this fearsome disease, she didn't conceal it from the world; rather she decided to beautifully document her cancer journey on social media to motivate other women throughout the world. From posting pictures of her bald head to dauntlessly showing her scars, her social media posts have carried trials and tribulations and connotations of hope for several women to stay hopeful and determined in their fight against breast cancer. She completed her treatment in January 2019 and is now cancer-free! She even came up with a podcast, My-Ex Breast, a 7-episode series where she spoke about battling cancer and its consequence on her mental well-being and family. Tahira's inspiring story and crusade have given her and millions of other women a lot of stimuli and provided a deeper belief in one's self-power.
The beautiful Mexican actress who rose to fame for her steamy chemistry with Hrithik Roshan in her debut movie Kites is a cancer survivor. She was diagnosed with Stage I breast cancer quite early in her career when she was just 29 years old. The malady was cured completely since it was detected at an initial stage. Since then, Barbara has been actively involved in increasing awareness among the female populace to take proper care of themselves and go for routine medical examinations and breast inspections so that if there is a higher incidence of cancer, it gets detected at an early stage. She also enthusiastically participated in a documentary titled, “1 a minute”, an American docudrama film composed and directed by Indian American actress Namrata Singh Gujral that revolves around a normal breast cancer patient's life, from diagnosis to treatment and, in many cases, towards the road of recovery.
Bollywood actress Mahima Chowdhury, who is well-known for her debut movie Pardes with actor Shah Rukh Khan for which she won a Filmfare Award was diagnosed with breast cancer earlier this year. In an emotional video on a popular social media handle, actor Anupam Kher revealed her condition to her fans. In an interview with a famous tabloid, Mahima shares that she had symptoms of cancer, and it was detected in her annual health checkup. She had to undergo chemotherapy and regular checkups but as of now she is cancer free and has already resumed work. She even took to social media to disclose her painful and emotional journey and thank all her fans and well-wishers who helped her get through the tough phase of life.
Veteran actress Mumtaz Askari Madhvani a.k.a Mumtaz is well-known for her versatile avatars in Indian cinema. A recipient of the gorgeous black lady i.e., Filmfare Award for Best Actress in the year 1970 and the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award for her contributions towards Hindi cinema, Mumtaz was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2002, when she was 54 years old. Although she was in her 50s, the exuberant actress was able to win the combat against breast cancer after 6 chemotherapies and 35 radiation treatments. In an interview with a popular news agency, Mumtaz cited that she is a spirited fighter and that she doesn’t concede defeat easily. She also quoted that even death will have to fight her! After completion of her treatment, she followed a strict regime to bounce back to her pre-cancer healthy state. She has been an advocate for breast cancer survivors since then and has also appeared alongside other actresses who are breast cancer survivors in the 2010 documentary 1 a Minute.
Salute to these heroic souls who have ascertained that with strong determination, courage and unwavering support from family, relatives and friends, one can combat even death for a second chance at life. More willpower and strength to each one of them!
** Source: All images are taken from Instagram