On Wednesday, July 4 actress and reality show judge, Sonali Bendre Behl revealed on social media that she is battling cancer. The 43-year-old Bollywood star reports that she has a high-grade cancer that has, unfortunately, metastasized.
Sometimes, when you least expect it, life throws you a curveball. I have recently been diagnosed with a high grade cancer that has metastised, which we frankly did not see coming. A niggling pain led to some tests, which led to this unexpected diagnosis. My family and close friends have rallied around me, providing the best support system that anyone can ask for. I am very blessed and thankful for each of them. There is no better way to tackle this, than to take swift and immediate action. And so, as advised by my doctors, I am currently undergoing a course of treatment in New York. We remain optimistic and I am determined to fight every step of the way. What has helped has been the immense outpouring of love and support I’ve received over the past few days, for which I am very grateful. I’m taking this battle head on, knowing I have the strength of my family and friends behind me.
Metastasized is a medical term that means a part of the original tumor has broken off and entered the bloodstream or lymphatic system, and traveled to another part of the body. The cancer cells can shift quite far from the original position since the bloodstream travels to every corner of the human body. This leads to the formation of numerous tumors in varied locations from bones, lymph nodes and lungs to the brain. Metastatic cancer is also known as stage 4 cancer.
According to Cancer.net, factors that can affect the spreading of cancer cells includes the type of cancer it is, how fast it is growing, how much time has passed since its development and the start of treatment and other factors.
Bendre-Behl mentions that she has a “high-grade cancer” which means the cancer cells are growing quickly. Cancer.gov describes “high grade” cancers as having a worse prognosis than low-grade cancers and are in need of intensive treatment.
The difficulty of cancer and metastasized cancers is that there could be no symptoms. Other times there are symptoms like shortness of breath and pain. It is important to get regular physicals and checked for cancers that may be common in one’s family to avoid health scares.
To treat metastatic cancers doctors often try intensive treatment plans like chemotherapy in combination with medications, hormone therapy and biologic treatments to target the tumors throughout the body. Other options include surgery and radiation, but all options depend on the type of tumor, the age, health, and other factors of the patient. While in some cases cancer can be cured, in others doctors are only able to slow the progression and reduce symptoms of the diseases. By slowing the progression patients are able to live for many months or even years depending on the type of cancer, however, there can be side effects of the treatments like nausea.
Aside from the physical difficulties, cancer can affect the emotional and psychological well-being of the patient and family. Bendre-Behl gives a shout out to her friends and family in her Instagram post for showering her with support and prayers in these difficult times.
“What has helped has been the immense outpouring of love and support I’ve received over the past few days, for which I am very grateful,” Bendre-Belh writes on Instagram. “I’m taking this battle head on, knowing I have the strength of my family and friends behind me.”
Bendre-Behl has just posted a new video on her Instagram of getting her beautiful long hair cut into a chic and short look. A powerful moment for the actress, she is clearly emotional in the video. However, she stays positive through it all by quoting author Isabel Allende in the caption.
“We don’t even know how strong we are until we are forced to bring that hidden strength forward,” Behl writes in the post. “In times of tragedy, of war, of necessity, people do amazing things. The human capacity for survival and renewal is awesome.”
In the words of my favourite author Isabel Allende, “We don’t even know how strong we are until we are forced to bring that hidden strength forward. In times of tragedy, of war, of necessity, people do amazing things. The human capacity for survival and renewal is awesome.” The outpouring of love I’ve received in the last few days has been so overwhelming… and I’m especially grateful to those of you who shared stories of your experiences in dealing with cancer, whether it was your own or of loved ones. Your stories have given me an extra dosage of strength and courage, and more importantly, the knowledge that I’m not alone. Each day comes with its own challenges and victories and so for now, I’m taking this #OneDayAtATime. The only thing I’m trying to be consistent about is maintaining a positive outlook… literally #SwitchOnTheSunshine – it’s my way of dealing with this. Sharing my journey is also part of this process… I can only hope it reminds you that all is not lost and that someone, somewhere understands what you’re going through. 🤞🌞 Thank you @tomoarakawa for making this a chic transition from long to short!