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Constancia Mushi Marcel From Tanzania For “Breast Cancer Treatment in India”

In March 2019, I (Constancia Mushi Marcel) was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 51. My husband and I had a happy family with our children, and we had big plans for our future in Tanzania. I knew something wasn’t right when I felt a lump on my left breast two months ago. My gynecologist ordered an ultrasound, but the results were unconvincing.

My gynecologist referred me to an oncologist for further intervention for an immediate diagnosis. The medical oncologist recommended that I should have a mammogram and a biopsy to determine the exact cause of the lump formation. I had a long list of symptoms to report to my oncologist. There was a dark spot on my areola. My nipple had crusted over and discharged. My chest was in excruciating pain.

I went for a biopsy after several sleepless nights and finally have a definitive diagnosis. That sense of calm vanished when the findings revealed that I had PR and HER2-positive breast cancer, as well as Invasive Ductal Carcinoma in the left breast. I was not completely prepared for the diagnosis. My heart was racing, and tears streamed down my cheeks. My husband hugged me close as tears streamed down his face. We told our families later that day.

My mother-in-law, who lives in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, suggested that I should contact MedsurgeIndia, which I did. The first phone call was encouraging, and the paperwork process that followed was quick and simple. The next thing I knew, we were on a video call with Dr. Ankur Bahl at Fortis Memorial Research Institute in Gurgaon, India, for an initial consultation. I wasn’t sure as we toured the facility virtually. Our assigned query manager from medsurge India was very informative and courteous. The doctor’s viewpoint made me feel so much better. My eyes welled up with tears once more, but this time they were tears of hope and peace. I knew I was going to the right place.

Because cancer had spread throughout my left breast, I wanted to reduce my chances of developing breast cancer in my right breast, as well as remove the cancerous breast tissue. Cancer was revealed in my sentinel lymph nodes during the biopsy. A PET scan revealed that cancer had not spread to other parts of my body.

Six chemotherapy treatments were administered to me, followed by seven weeks of radiation to shrink the tumorous cells. Following the completion of these procedures, I began a year-long treatment with trastuzumab, a monoclonal antibody that is specifically targeted for HER2-positive breast cancer.

My experience with the Medsurge India team at Fortis Hospital was consistently empowering. Every step of the way, I was involved in the decision-making process. My Care Team was exactly that—a caring team—and I made lifelong friends with patients and Medsurge India team members. My naturopathic provider and clinical oncology dietitian assisted me in managing and preventing side effects, teaching me how to shop for and prepare healthier foods, and recommended supplements to take during and after treatment to support my recovery. I utilized all of the integrative services provided by Medsurge India, including transportation and accommodation assistance, as well as occupational therapy.

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