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Gautami narrates her experience of fighting breast cancer

Staff Reporter

Early detection is a life-saving measure, say survivors

- PHOTO: P.V. SIVAKUMAR

TRIUMPH OF SPIRIT: Actor director Kamal Haasan flanked by Pamela Chopra, wife of Yash Chopra, and actress Gautami Tadimella, at a meeting in Hyderabad on Sunday.

HYDERABAD: Gautami Tadimalla is better known for her performances in South Indian movies than for her struggle with breast cancer, a disease that affects majority of women in the urban areas. It was a struggle she won with aplomb, as gathered from her experiences shared with select audience here on the International Women’s Day.

At an event jointly organised by Ushalakshmi Breast Cancer Foundation and KIMS hospital on Sunday, the actress spoke from a dais also shared by her companion and actor Kamal Hasan, and playback singer, writer and producer Pamela Chopra among others.

Lifestyle disease

“To a large degree, breast cancer has become a lifestyle disease. Stress, food and pollution all have an important role to play in body’s metabolism. We have to get a grip on our lives and prioritise our jobs to avoid stress,” she said, and thanked her family for the unflinching support it offered.

“It’s a great privilege to just be there… wake up in the morning and appreciate the fact that you are still there,” she reminisced in a voice choked with emotion.

Kamal Haasan described the recovery as an achievement by Gautami. “I have done many films as cancer patient, but I have got them all wrong,” confessed the ace actor, “Unintentional, yet subversive messages go out of all the movies about health and many other aspects.”

He described the personal experience of coping with the trauma as unlike the sequences of the movies.

“Yes, there were tears, but they never rolled on cheeks. It felt like a personal triumph, not like finishing a script,” he said. The couple was accompanied by daughters Akshara and Subbalakshmi.

Pamela Chopra, who survived the breast cancer thrice, stressed on early detection as life saving measure. The illustrious wife of Bollywood dream merchant Yash Chopra described the disease as more traumatic for the family than for the patient.

A CD and a poster to spread awareness were released on the occasion.

P. Raghu Ram, CEO of the Foundation, B. Bhaskar Rao, MD of KIMS, were among those who spoke on the occasion.

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