FOM Kolkata celebrates World CML Day

– Report by Ramanathan Sheshadhari

FOM Kolkata and Max had the honor to `associate with Tata Medical Center to celebrate “World CML Day” on 22/9/2016 at Kolkata.

Mrs Viji Venkatesh, who had come all the way from Mumbai, set the tone for the event with her opening remarks where she welcomed the patients and care givers who had come from Kolkata and neighboring cities and gave an outline of World CML Day and its correlation with the Chromosomes 9 and 22 that cause CML. She also gave a brief presentation on Max Foundation and its different activities.

The event was graced by the august presence of Dr Mammen Chandy, Director, Tata Medical Center and a doyen in the field of CML treatment. Dr Chandy in his keynote address gave a perspective of the advances in CML therapy and stressed that such meetings provide a suitable platform for patients to interact with doctors and assuage their concerns.

Two panel discussions were planned for the event.
The first which was moderated by Mrs Viji Venkatesh and on Frequently Asked Questions on CML, had the following doctors in the panel:
Dr Mammen Chandy
Dr Reena Nair
Dr Neeraj Arora
Dr Mayur Parihar

It was observed that the queries in the minds of patients have also transformed with time and present day concerns focus on the following lines: Will the disease get cured and can medicines be stopped upon normalcy of results? What about the quality of life notably with regard to marriage and having children during pendency of CML treatment? Migration to 2nd generation TKIs etc. Long term side effects and their management.

The doctors in the panel gave an insightful perspective on the subjects. Notably they said that in certain cases where the PCR results are zero for over two years, doctors do consider taking the patient off medication. However it is imperative that such cases are monitored periodically to see that results continue to be normal.

In between the panel discussions, FOM Kolkata had staged a delightful skit where the protagonists were CML patients in different stages sharing their experiences and exemplifying the normal understandings of a CML situation.

The Second Panel Discussion was targeted towards the issues that confront care givers. The session was moderated by Dr Ganapthy of JASCAP and had the following doctors, patients and care givers in the panel:
Dr Reena Nair
Dr Srikant Athreya
Dr Dutta
Mr Neel Kankani
Mrs Poonam Kankani

The queries is the session covered different areas including the psychological impact of CML in the family both for patient and care giver and side effects normally encountered by a CML patient.

There was a light entertainment programme where some members of the FOM Kolkata family Tushar Ghosh and Shipra Kolay sang a few songs. The Organiser’s had also arranged for a delectable food packet with lots of sweets for the members who had no doubts in their minds that it was a day well spent.