Cancer Was a Reminder to Focus On My Health, Says Manisha Koirala

Video Editor: Veeru Krishnan Mohan
Cameraperson: Sanjoy Deb

Actor Manisha Koirala launched her book ‘Healed: How Cancer Gave Me a New Life’ in Mumbai. Her book gives an insight into how she battled with ovarian cancer.

"I think it was during the shooting of Laawaris, which released in 1999, that I felt the pressure getting to me. I had been working non-stop till then. I confided in Dimple Kapadia that I was tired of this routine of getting up, putting on makeup, going out for location shooting, returning home exhausted and being constantly ‘on the go’."

Manisha Koirala was the peak of her career as Bollywood's leading lady when she realised that the pattern of her famous life was tiring her out. It wasn’t just the routine of being an actor and shooting back-to-back for 18 hours a day, but also her lifestyle that she says took her towards the biggest turning point in her life. Her marriage with Nepali businessman Samrat Dahal had just broken down when she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2012.

As per a study published in the Indian Journal of Cancer, ovarian cancer is the third leading cause of cancer in women in India. The study observed a survival rate of only 45 percent over five years among women who were diagnosed. This was primarily due to delayed diagnosis.

Speaking to FIT at her book launch, Manisha said:

"We are always trying to project ourselves as perfect, flawless and beautiful. But while writing my book I just told myself - Enough with the facade. " - Manisha Koirala 

Also Read: Manisha Koirala Tells Us What Not to Say to Cancer Patients

Stemming in the ovaries of the female reproductive system, ovarian cancer is asymptomatic in its early stages. It is often diagnosed only after it has spread within the stomach or the pelvic region.

In another interview, the actor says,

When I was diagnosed with Cancer that time, I was traumatised but when I look back, I feel it has given me new perspective to see life in a different light and lot of hope about many things in life. It also made me realize that how important my life and health is to me.

Manisha’s friends and colleagues from the industry like actor Gulshan Grover, Rekha, Jackie Shroff and Anupam Kher and director Mahesh Bhatt also attended the book launch.

Also Read: Cancer Helped Me Grow, Appreciate Life: Manisha Koirala

FIT also spoke with Mahesh Bhatt and Gulshan Grover at the event.

"We were standing and waiting for her before she arrived and we gave her the ovation that she deserved. Here was the real heroine, stepping out of that white car and now this person has written a book which is so stark and so brave and so real. She talks about her vulnerability. She talks about her doubts and I think this will be a coping device for millions who have known her through the sliver screen and now in real life through her heartbreaking narrative that she has brought out. " - Mahesh Bhatt 

Manisha was diagnosed with ovarian Cancer in 2012 and was cancer free by 2014. She went through the treatment for four years in Mumbai’s Jaslok Hospital and then in New York.

Also Read: Actor Nafisa Ali Diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer. What Is It?

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