Actress Sonali Bendre shocked us all with a Twitter revelation that she has cancer. In an earnest Twitter post, she narrated how she found out about her devastating diagnosis. Calling the unfortunate development a “curveball,” she revealed that she was going through some “niggling pain.” After she ran a few tests, Sonali realised that she had cancer, which had metastasised and was a high-grade malignancy. But the post exudes a lot of positivity as she thanks her family and close friends who have rallied around her. Here’s the complete post.
— Sonali Bendre Behl (@iamsonalibendre) July 4, 2018
Netizens are understandably shocked because this is the second such celebrity revelation after Irrfan Khan spoke about his brush with a “rare disease.” But they are mostly concerned for her since they don’t understand the gravity of the situation. While many know what cancer is, it’s the “high grade” part that has confused them. According to the National Cancer Institute, high-grade cancer is used to describe cells and tissues that spread and grow more quickly. Prognosis of high-grade cancer is worse than that of low-grade cancer. It may require immediate medical attention and aggressive treatment.
What is Metastasis of Cancer
Dr. Anil Heroor, Head Surgical Oncology, Fortis Hospital, Mulund and Kalyan defines metastasis as the spread of cancer cells to other parts of the body, away from the primary area where the cancer started developing. "This occurs through the lymph system or blood, which transports the cells to other parts of the body where the cells start forming tumours. These newly formed tumours are called secondary tumours. A metastasis often occurs in stage IV or different forms of cancer and is regarded as a serious or advanced stage cancer, due to its strength and ability to spread to different parts of the body," he says.
Where Do Metastatic Cancers Develop?
Dr. Heroor says that the commonest areas are the liver, lungs, lymph nodes and bones. A person with lung cancer, which has spread to the bones is said to have lung cancer with bone metastasis. In cases where the cancer has spread widely throughout the body, even before it is diagnosed and if the area of origin remains unknown, it is called 'cancer of unknown primary origin.'"
Here’s a complete breakdown of the various grades and stages of cancer.
What Are The Stages of Cancer?
We have often heard of people diagnosed with a 1st stage cancer or 4th stage cancer. What do these stages mean? According to National Health Services UK website, cancer is grouped into five stages:
It shows that the cancer is situated where it started, but it hasn’t spread to the rest of the body. It is also known as cancer in situ.
Stage 1 is when the cancer is still small and hasn’t spread to the rest of the body.
In stage 2, the cancer has grown, but it still hasn’t spread.
In stage 3, the cancer is larger and could have spread to the tissues surrounding it. It may have also spread to the lymph nodes of the body.
In the ultimate stage or stage 4 of cancer, it has spread from where it has started to other parts of the body. It is also known as secondary or metastatic cancer.
What Are the Grades of Cancer?
The grades of cancer explain the nature of the cancer and how it looks under the microscope. A low-grade cancer is where the cells grow slowly, and high-grade cancer indicates a faster-growing one. It is accordingly divided into three grades:
The cancer cells look no different from a normal cell and they are not spreading.
The cancer cells don’t resemble normal cells and are growing rapidly.
The cancer cells look quite abnormal and may be growing at a rapid rate.
Going by Sonali’s post alone, we can’t predict the course of her illness or the type of cancer that has afflicted her. But according to the actresses post, she has a high-grade cancer, which means it is spreading at a very fast rate. She has also mentioned that the cancer has metastasised, which means it could have spread from the place where it has originated. Sonali may go in for an aggressive form of treatment to bring cancer under control. We can only wish her the very best. Not many can face such a devastating diagnosis with so much optimism and patience. Let’s wish her the very best.