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Chhavi Mittal: I was ignorant about the importance of breast cancer awareness before my own cancer journey

Actor Chhavi Mittal has no qualms in admitting that she was ignorant about breast cancer and the awareness drive until she herself was diagnosed with it earlier this year, and says she is on a mission to make up for the lost time by driving more conversations around it this Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

“I don’t think I have paid any attention to Breast Cancer Awareness Month (which is October) before this year. Now, it has a whole new meaning for me.” Mittal tells us, adding, “This year, I am also associating with a lot of campaigns and speaking at webinars to educate people about the importance of self examination and the importance of early detection. This month is very important. I am alive today because my cancer was detected early.”

Calling herself ignorant about it all, she says, “It was absolutely ignorant of me. So many people are ignorant unless they know somebody you know that has gone through it, you really don’t understand the importance of it”.

“I have met women who say, ‘My mom had breast cancer. My nani had breast cancer’. When I asked if they got tested, or self examination, they said no. It’s not just being ignorant, but also being lazy and taking your life for granted,” adds the actor, known for Bandini and The Better Half.

Earlier in April this year, Mittal was diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer, a few days later she underwent the surgery. Since then, the actor has made her social media a place to document her journey of recovering, including the good and bad days.

“The reason why I share my recovery journey is because when I got cancer, everybody told me about the treatment. Nobody told me about life after cancer. I had the maximum number of questions to my doctors about life after cancer. How will my life be after cancer? It was very important for me to know that. Hence, I share my recovery journey with everybody because people should also know that life after cancer is normal. It can be as normal as you want it to be,” she stresses.

Here, the actor shares that people get over the perception that cancer is scary. “Every cancer is not scary. Most cancers are treatable now… Early detection is the key. Just like you brush your teeth every day, checking yourself has to be second nature. We forget that unless it is hammered on women, they will not understand how to do it and remember to do it every now and then. Early detection will save your life, but don’t take it lightly,” she concludes.

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