Marzia Begum shares that the last one year has been the worst in her life. “ It was as if Allah was punishing me for sins committed by me. But every day I prayed to him only to forgive me and cure me of my illness.” A housewife and a mother of two children, Marzia started to suffer from extreme stomach pain, nausea and vomiting. “I used to have unbearable stomach ache. I had lost my appetite and would not eat for days together. The symptoms were accompanied with weight loss, vague discomfort in the belly -especially below the navel, heart burn and indigestion. Even when I used to eat few morsels ,I used to feel that I have over eaten. There was a continuous feeling of nausea. Then there came a time, when I couldn’t remember when I used to be fine.”
Concerned about his wife’s well being Marzia’s husband decided to consult doctors in Bangladesh. They went to Dhaka, where after few tests, it was diagnosed that she had stomach cancer. However the doctors there shared that the cancer is inoperable and she would have to go through few sessions of chemotherapy.
“The chemo was the worst. It was as if my pain alleviated. All my symptoms became more severe and I started to suffer more. I couldn’t sleep for nights and continued to lose weight.”
Considering the situation, Marzia’s husband decided to come to India for a second opinion. Here they consulted Dr RN Mittal, Sr Consultant , Surgical Oncology at Paras Hospitals , Gurgaon – A surgical oncologist with more than 20 years of extensive experience. Post a PET CT, biopsy and endoscopy, Dr RN Mittal shared that the surgery was possible. “ We couldn’t believe our ears. My family and I wanted to get healthy. We were also certain that surgery was the best procedure to achieve what we wanted, ” shares Marzia.
According to Dr R.N. Mittal, “ Marzia was suffering from Linitis Plastica. It is aggressive type of gastric cancer that originates in the glandular tissue lining the stomach walls. Linitis Plastica begins in the stomach lining and quickly invades the stomach’s muscle walls, turning them into leather-like scar tissue that cannot swell or contract as it should. This rigid stomach, commonly called a “leather bottle stomach”, is unable to hold much food, resulting in a poor appetite and inadequate absorption of vital nutrients. Linitis Plastica is an aggressive type of cancer and quickly spreads to other parts of the body. The lymph nodes and the lining of other abdominal organs are frequent recipients of Linitis Plastica’s quick cell proliferation. In Paras Hospitals, after assessing the PET scan, endoscopy and biopsy report, in view of aggressive behavior of disease, it was decided to undergo total Gastrectomy.
Post operative period was uneventful. Patient was discharged post operative with satisfactory Oral Feeding. Post surgery, she has been advised Radiotherapy & Chemotherapy which she wants to take in her own country. Her stomach pain is gone and she has got her appetite back. “After surgery, when I ate food as I used to before, my husband and I started to cry with joy,” shares Marzia. When you ask her what her plans her, she smiles and says, “I can’t wait to be back home and eat Biryani to my heart’s content!”