Since 2014, Shukia Begum had recurrent headaches but was reluctant to go to a doctor. “I was in denial", said Shukia. It wasn’t until 4 years later in January of 2018 while experiencing frequent unbearable headache that woke her 2 –3 times a night, she decided it was finally time to see a doctor.
Mohamed Syedi, Shukia Begum’s husband recalls, "When we heard that Shukia was diagnosed with meningioma, we thought our world was coming to an end. We spoke with many people about how we could treat this illness and most of the time we heard negative experiences about long drawn surgeries or standard radiation therapy.”
People who choose standard radiation have close to 42 treatments over several months and generally feel so tired that they cannot enjoy a high quality of life. “I knew that neither of these treatment options was for me. I didn’t know what I was going to do”, said Shukia. With limited options open at that time, they were in a tight spot.
Realising that they had to look abroad for treatment options, Mohamed contacted his niece Rubina, who lives in London. “The only treatments I heard about were surgery and standard radiation. It wasn’t until I spoke with my niece who lives in England that I learned about CyberKnife Radiation Therapy. It sounded very interesting. No one had ever told me about CyberKnife", said Mohamed.
CyberKnife, also known as SBRT (Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy) is the most advanced radiosurgery technique available for treating prostate cancer. It is non-invasive and reduces the risk of side effects that can result from traditional treatments such as surgery and standard radiation.
After learning about Cyberknife treatment cost in India, the family realized that this was the treatment they would be most comfortable with. Mohamed researched the internet to find the closest CyberKnife location to Bangladesh and found the best hospital for cyberknife treatment India through Vaidam Health India almost instantaneously. “I went through the website to learn more and I read and watched the wonderful patient success stories. I was convinced we needed to go to India for Shukia’s treatment”.
“I called the Vaidam helpline number and spoke with Tamanna who told me to send my reports to see if Shukia was a case for Cyberknife and indeed she was. Tamanna made all the necessary appointments at Artemis Hospital (our hospital of choice); and also made travel plans, including booking a hotel within walking distance of the hospital. Tamanna was wonderful; she is a very caring person and made us feel very comfortable.”
Just 15 days later, on May 4, 2018, Shukia began a series of 5 treatments, 1 treatment every other day, under the care of Dr Aditya Gupta, Director - Neurosurgery & CNS Radiosurgery, Artemis Hospital.
Shukia’s treatments were completed within 10 days; the only side effect was some fatigue. “I felt nothing during the treatment," said Shukia.” Just three weeks after completing her treatments, she already felt better and stronger and no longer woke up during the night due to headache.
Mohamed says that the team at Artemis was very accommodating. “Dr. Gupta is a neurosurgeon who also holds expertise in cyberknife treatment and is the best cyberknife doctor in India. He explained everything very professionally and he addressed our fears because we were very nervous.” A week later, Mohamed and Shukia returned to Bangladesh, content with the treatment they had received.
We are glad that the family trusted Vaidam during their trying times. We hope for Shukia’s speedy recovery and a fruitful life ahead.