India news March 19, 2012

Yuvraj back to normal in couple of months - doctors


Yuvraj Singh's response to chemotherapy has left his medical team "fairly confident" that the mediastinal seminoma he had been diagnosed with "will not come back." Dr Nitesh Rohatgi, a key member of Yuvraj's medical team, told ESPNcricinfo that according to their assessment, Yuvraj could "get back to normal activity in about a couple of month's time." Yuvraj underwent three cycles of chemotherapy, the last one in hospital before being discharged, and is expected to return to India in the first half of April.

Rohatgi, senior medical oncologist at Delhi's Max Cancer Centre, said Yuvraj, diagnosed with a mediastinal seminoma, a germ-cell tumour between his lungs, had responded well to therapy. "He has had the standard treatment for such tumours, which is three cycles of chemotherapy followed by a strict protocol based follow-up and we are cautiously confident that it will not come back."

The doctors' progressive assessment over the period of almost two months of chemotherapy had indicated that the "tumour mass" detected earlier "has now shrunk significantly. The cancer protein (tumour marker) has come down faster than expected and both the signs together are reassuring of the fact that the cancer should be on the way out of his system."

Yuvraj has been in the United States for treatment since end January. He underwent chemotherapy in Indianapolis at the Indiana University's IU Simon Cancer Center under the supervision of Rohatgi and Lawrence H Einhorn, who had headed the treatment of cycling champion Lance Armstrong in 1996.

Following the three cycles of chemotherapy, Rohatgi said that while Yuvraj's tumour markers had "normalised", his readings of the liver and kidney test remain "robust", indicating that the chemotherapy has not irreversibly damaged his body. "All the side-effects he has had so far are reversible and we've seen signs of quick recovery between cycles of chemotherapy."

When asked about a specific time frame for Yuvraj's return to full fitness, Rohatgi said it was, "variable." "In our experience, mine from cases in the UK and Dr Einhorn's from the US, patients get back to good normal activity in a month's time. Whether that also amounts to excellent training capabilities we will only find out in time. Yuvraj is very strong-minded, he shows a sign of desperation to out-perform himself."

Yuvraj will remain in the US for between two to three weeks due to what Rohatgi called a "safety period" that had to be observed following chemotherapy. His next step would now primarily be to get back to fitness and go through a follow-up and check-up routine through blood tests and CT scans, "none of which would interrupt any of Yuvraj's schedules."

Along with physical recovery, Rohatgi said Yuvraj had mentally handled the chemotherapy very well. "The common psychological effect on patients of cancer and chemotherapy can be depression, but Yuvraj has tackled it very well. He came across to us as someone who said when this gets over, let me get back on track."

On Sunday, Yuvraj had tweeted about his chemotherapy sessions being complete.

While in the US, where he's been since the last week of January, Yuvraj has done as much gym work as was physically possible during his treatment, played pool, watched the Superbowl game between the New York Giants and New England Patriots and interacted with a few hundred Indian-origin students from the Indiana University after he was recognised when on one of his walks along the Indianapolis canal.

Sharda Ugra is senior editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Pranav on March 21, 2012, 0:27 GMT

    Yuvi wish u the best and a speedy recover, waiting to see you in the indian blue!! you are a champ, we all are praying for you. To all NON-INDIANS, a sincere thank you from the bottom of my heart for your wishes to Yuvi, its good to c people from all over not bashing on each other and actually agreeing on something together, a mans health getting better. Best wish to all of you and your families as well. Thank you!!!!

  • Dummy4 on March 20, 2012, 20:56 GMT

    Wishing Yuvi Speedy recovery... With Talent and P ersonality combined you r the best player out there.

  • Dummy4 on March 20, 2012, 7:37 GMT

    Get well soon Yuvi! You're in our prayers. You're a great player and we wish to see you on the field soon. I like your play even if you're playing against my country, Pakistan. Billions of people prayers are with you, InshahAllah you'll be 100% very soon. Take care

  • saumitra on March 20, 2012, 6:47 GMT

    yuvi, you will be back soon and would be doing even better than before. My best wishes :)

  • Senthil on March 20, 2012, 6:35 GMT

    @Anant S. Khokhar - Yes, no need to mention where you are from, but I think it is out of a sense of affection that Pakistani people on this forum are mentioning where their wishes are coming from. In case you have not noticed, relations between fans of two countries are at the best we have ever seen and many exchanges are genuinely kind, generous and decent - just like the relations between the two teams these days. The bitterness in the rivalry is all but gone, and there is pure enjoyment now.

  • Dummy4 on March 20, 2012, 6:15 GMT

    we are missing lot i didn't see any indian cricket match without you pls come back very soon and i hope u'll bring good cricket for indian fans .

  • Dummy4 on March 20, 2012, 5:01 GMT

    Good to hear that you are on the mend, Yuvraj Singh. Best wishes that your recovery continues. This is more good news following reports that the footballer Muamba (hope I got the spelling right) is responding to treatment in hospital in the UK, following his collapsing on the field with a heart attack. Great news all round. Get well soon, gentlemen.

  • Dummy4 on March 20, 2012, 4:51 GMT

    Yuvi, hit the cancer out of the park, and return back to hit the cricket ball out .... ur natural gift, should not go waste.. wish you a speedy recovery..

  • Dummy4 on March 20, 2012, 3:30 GMT

    Get well soon Yuvi, You have won us the world cup and there is always a place for you in the indian side no matter what ..

  • Kartik on March 20, 2012, 3:29 GMT

    Miss you a lot on the cricket field, Yuvi ! Wish you the speediest recovery and a very healthy future. India needs you back in its ODI, T20 and even Test teams for the best wishes.

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