Canadian actress Lisa Ray, who has appeared in a number of Bollywood films, including most memorably, Deepa Mehta’s Water, has announced that she suffers from a rare form of incurable cancer – multiple myeloma. “I was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma on June 23rd,” she announced, “I started my first cycle of treatment July 2nd. Not long ago. For me, it was a relief to hear what was wrong.”
Lisa went on to explain the nature of the disease: “It’s a relatively rare cancer of the bone marrow that affects about 6000 Canadians. Every year, approximately 2100 more cases are diagnosed.” Essentially, the disease is caused by an overproduction of antibodies which are then deposited in vital organs eventually leading to organ failure. Median survival period from diagnosis is currently five years. “But with an ever expanding toolbox of treatments and awareness this cancer be beat,” Lisa continued, “So I’m going to do everything I can to wrench the spotlight onto Myeloma and Cancer Awareness. I believe it can be cured.”
Lisa has been picked up at an early stage of diagnosis and is responding well to initial therapy. Treatment currently centres around the use of steroids and chemotherapy but stem cell transplantation may offer the possibility of a future cure and there is active research in this field. The disease is also referred to as Kahler’s Disease.