People ask how I got cancer despite a healthy lifestyle: Sonali Bendre

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Bollywood actor Sonali Bendre during the 5th International Conference CAHOCON 2019 organised by Consortium of Accredited Healthcare Organisation (CAHO), in Mumbai. Photo: PTI
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Sonali Bendre, who was diagnosed with high grade cancer last year, said early detection and spreading awareness about the disease is essential. In July 2018, the actor was diagnosed with cancer and she underwent the treatment in New York. She returned to India in December. Sonali said that though the disease is scary, early diagnosis can make the treatment less painful.

"Early detection is most important. Right now the disease is less scary the treatment is actually more frightening and painful. If it were detected early, the cost of treatment would have been less. It would also have been a lesser painful treatment," Sonali said Saturday at the fifth International Conference, organised by Consortium of Accredited Healthcare Organisation (CAHO).

The 44-year-old actor said that post her diagnosis, she got to know that some of her family members also had cancer. "I wish I knew about it. I wouldn't have thought this would happen to me... I felt if this was so prevalent why did I not know about it," she said.

Sonali recalled a lot of people were shocked with her cancer diagnosis. "Lot of people said how could I get it as my lifestyle was so healthy. Even I was like 'Why I have got it?' Then I heard a lot of stories and realised anybody could get it." The actor said an open discussion on cancer is very essential to foster awareness on a wider level.

"Healthcare institutions like hospitals should also play an important role in initiating dialogue on diseases and ensure community participation to improve healthcare outcomes."

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