Shortly after the World Cup victory in 2011, cricketer Yuvraj Singh was diagnosed with a cancerous tumour. He had what's called mediastinal Seminoma Cancer.
Yuvraj Singh underwent treatment in the US and was discharged from the hospital after his third and final chemotherapy in March 2012.
He's penned a note of encouragement for actor Sanjay Dutt, who has been diagnosed with lung cancer, which according to some reports, is in Stage 3. The actor has requested that we do not speculate on this health and we respect his privacy.
Yuvraj Singh spoke about Sanjay Dutt's fighting spirit.
What is Mediastinal Seminoma Cancer?
"When you hear the word cancer for the first time, you really get scared. Cancer. It’s like a death sentence. You become really unsure where your life will take you,” the cricketer has spoken about his battle with cancer at great length.
It was in 2011 itself that Yuvraj experienced his first symptoms - acute breathlessness, splitting blood, severe loss of stamina. He was initially diagnosed with a non-malignant tumour, which later was confirmed to be cancer.
It was a rare form of cancer called mediastinal seminoma cancer. Mediastinum is the area that separates the lungs. Tumours in this area can cause pressure on the spinal cord, the lungs, the heart and heart lining and trachea.
In his case, the tumour was pressing against his lung and arteries, putting him at risk of experiencing a heart attack.
Seminoma are germ cell tumours and initial symptoms can be missed, till the tumour grows in size. Germ cell tumours occur mostly in the testicular region among young men. The mediastinum is the second most common region.
Yuvraj's doctor, Dr Nitesh Rohatgi from Max Hospitals, was quoted as saying, "It is a malignant tumour called extragonadal seminoma which is very rare. It is not lung cancer, nor has the tumour spread to the lungs."
Symptoms include, and Yuvraj has spoken about experiences these:
Coughing with or without blood, shortness of breath and hoarseness.
Night sweats, chills or fever
Wheezing or a high-pitched breathing noise
Unexplained weight loss
Swollen or tender lymph nodes
This type of cancer is more common in the young - with average age being 30 to 50 years.
An X Ray, CT Scan and MRI and a biopsy is needed to diagnose the disease.
Treatment includes surgery, chemotherapy and radiation or a combination of these options. It will depend upon the type of tumour, its location and the health of the patient. Yuvraj underwent three rounds of chemotherapy and didn't require a surgery.
It's important to note that is is not a regular lung cancer. This type of tumour has a high survival rate with 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,” said Yuvraj.