Yuvraj Singh Cancer History And Survivor Story

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Yuvraj Singh was born 12th December 1981. He is the son of Yograj Singh (former Indian cricketer) and Shabnam Singh. He completed his grduation in commerce from DAV College, Chandigarh. 

He is an Indian international cricketer. He won the player of the tournament award in 2000 under-19 cricket world cup. In a match against England at the 2007 World Twenty20, he famously hit six sixes in one over. He was the Man of the Tournament in the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup.

What kind of cancer Yuvraj Singh have?

He started having symptoms of cough and breathlessness, which he ignored initially during the 2011 cricket world cup. He also had episodes of blood in spit and severe loss of stamina. But later, when he underwent diagnostic workup in 2011, he was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor in his left lung, close to his heart. The tumor was malignant a germ cell cancer called a mediastinal seminoma. This tumor is different from the lung cancer and unlike it, it has a much better survival rate. It actually arises from the mediastinum and not from the lungs.

“At first I was in denial about it — playing for India was more important than my health and for a few months I chose to ignore the blood I spat out or my decline in stamina.” – Yuvraj Singh

Where was Yuvraj Singh treated for Cancer?

Yuvraj’s doctor planned for chemotherapy and he went to U.S for chemotherapy. He took his chemotherapy in Boston and Indianapolis at the same place where Lance Armstrong underwent chemotherapy for germ cell tumor. His chemotherapy started in February and ended in March 2012, and he came back to India in April.

“Don’t be scared… Be positive… Please don’t think that your life is about to end… Take the right advice and act as soon as you can… If there’s an issue in your system, don’t ignore it… Look at me, I never thought I’d get the chance to again play for India, but I’ve beaten cancer”– Yuvraj Singh

Yuvraj made his comeback with Twenty-Twenty against New Zealand in September 2012. In 2012, Yuvraj was conferred with the Arjuna Award. In 2014, he was awarded the Padma Shri, India’s fourth highest civilian honor.

“The side effects of chemo made me reel on my knees some days. But I was determined to come back and play for my country. That’s the one thing which always motivated me.” – Yuvraj Singh

He is actively raising awareness for cancer in the media and stressing on the importance of awareness of symptoms, early detection, appropriate treatment and staying positive throughout the treatment. 

“It’s only once I accepted cancer that I could beat it. When life knocks down you have a choice — to get up. So I thought to myself, ‘get up and do it again.” – Yuvraj Singh

What is Mediastinal Germ Cell Tumor?

Germ cell tumors are classified into following 2 types based on the type of cells involved, growth rate, and type of treatment approach usually followed for such tumors:

  • Seminomas: They are more common and tend to grow and spread slowly compared to non-seminomas.
  • Non-seminomas: They generally grow and spread faster and involve generally affect more than one cell type (mixed germ cell tumors). They are further divided into following 4 types based on the type of cells affected: Embryonal carcinoma, Choriocarcinomas, Yolk sac tumors, and Teratomas.

In Yuvraj Singh case, it was a Mediastinal Seminoma.

Mediastinal Germ Cell tumors are extragonadal germ cell tumors (EGGCT) as they grow outside the testis and ovary. Mediastinum is the most common site for EGGCTs.

It most commonly presents as chest discomfort, cough, shortness of breath or B Symptoms (fever, night sweats, weight loss). 

Confirmation of diagnosis and staging is done by blood tests (tumor markers), biopsy and imaging tests (CT scan, MRI, X ray)

Treatment for seminomatous EGGCT is mainly chemotherapy with a combination of cancer drugs. BEP is the standard chemotherapy used in such cases.

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