Self-care, willpower lead to cancer defeat - GulfToday

Self-care, willpower lead to cancer defeat


Deadly cancer is not impossible to defeat and overcome.

Mariecar Jara-Puyod, Senior Reporter

Deadly cancer is not impossible to defeat and overcome, according to an Abu Dhabi resident for 13 years until Nov. 2020 who has survived all the inconveniences of the disease for 18 years now.

“I will be, as of June 2, 2021, a 19-year ovarian cancer survivor; I am grateful for every day,” Kasey Conrad emailed on Monday to Gulf Today, from her hone country, USA.

The Reiki instructor/proponent of free sessions to cancer victims/survivors through the Reaching Out with Reiki Middle East, was among the resource persons at the “Cervical and Ovarian Cancers” Zoom webinar on Sunday, a joint corporate social responsibility awareness/empowerment project of Sharjah’s Skyline University College, Danat Al Emarat (private women’s and children’s hospital) in Abu Dhabi and Canada’s Algonquin College-Al Jahra Campus in Kuwait. Danat Al Emarat’s Obstetrics & Gynaecology specialists Dr Lara Koussayer and Dr Bisan Shishade lectured on the causes and latest developments on cervical and ovarian cancers, respectively. According to the World Health Organisation’s “World Cancer Report,” as of 2020, cervical cancer ranked sixth among the commonest worldwide with 470,000 new cases while ovarian cancer occupied the 14th slot with 190,000 new cases. Algonquin College Acting Academic dean/pharmacist Dr Amani Ahmad Hajji Hasan underscored the vital role of the pharmacist for cancer patients/survivors support not only through reliable prescriptive therapeutics; but, encouraging them as well and everyone for that matter, on preventing the onslaught of all cancers by way of the proper and correct guidance to the anti-oxidants such as Vitamins A, C, and E; Beta-carotene; Selenium; and Manganese.

Hasan said: “Antioxidants can protect against cell damage that free radicals or waste substances cause known as oxidative stress. Oxidative stress has been linked to heart disease, cancer, arthritis, stroke, respiratory diseases, immune deficiency, emphysema, Parkinson’s Disease and other inflammatory and ischemic conditions. Antioxidants protect the body from the free radicals which attack the health cells which make changes in the DNA, allowing tumours to grow. Research is under way to investigate the role of anti-oxidants in decreasing the role of developing cancers.”

Conrad stressed that caregivers ranging from family to friends and the medical community should not be de-platformed in all cancer awareness programmes. She acknowledged the zeal of her oncologist who stood by her especially when insurance companies tried to delay her medical treatment because she had been categorized in the non-high risk age group.

Yet, Conrad declared too that as healing comes deep from within one’s self, total and ultimate crutch on “outside forces” must be put aside. She believes trashing the “victim mentality” boosts recovery. In the email, she stated: “It is vital for survivors to understand, and (better yet), embrace their role in their own healing. Trusting and listening to doctors and other qualified medical professionals is important; however, there is nothing more important than trusting and listening to your own instincts, your own inner voice. No one knows you better than you. You are the most important advocate for your healing.”

Conrad stressed on self-care which include the simple me-time and even the “walk with and through nature.” Additions are the Reiki, yoga, acupuncture, massage and herbal remedies she herself utilised in her personal “cancer adventure,” citing that those she had personally guided through these techniques experienced the necessary calm and serenity “exponentially.” From her own experience, she wrote: “Practising meditation and yoga allowed me to keep my mind calm and my immune system as strong as it possibly could be under the circumstances.”

Dr Shishade supported Conrad’s route to healing. She said stressors and negativities are the causes of a sick body. Previously interviewed, King’s College Hospital London in Dubai hematologist/oncologist Dr. Hassan Ghazal said that while cancers could be defeated via the implementation of screenings and the progressing therapies, the third pillar should and must be encouraging patients/survivors on improving their fighting and will power.

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