File photo of Irrfan Khan, as he poses during a promotional event of “Piku,” in Mumbai, April 28, 2015. (AFP/Getty Images)
Irrfan Khan revealed, March 16, that he has been diagnosed with neuroendocrine tumor, a rare carcinoma that can target various parts of the body, and is out of the country for treatment.
Irrfan, 51, said it has been difficult dealing with the disease but people around him have given him hope and support to fight it.
He began his statement to the media with a quote from Margaret Mitchell’s “Gone with the Wind,” “Life is under no obligation to give us what we expect.”
The unexpected, he added, makes us grow, which is what the past few days had been about.
“Learning that I have been diagnosed with Neuro Endocrine Tumor as of now has admittedly been difficult, but the love and strength of those around me and that I found within me has brought me to a place of hope,” Irrfan said in a media statement.
“The journey of this is taking me out of the country, and I request everyone to continue sending their wishes,” he added.
The “Piku” actor also addressed the rumors surrounding his illness, saying neuro is not always about brain and thanked those who had not speculated about his health.
“As for the rumors that were floated, NEURO is not always about the brain and googling is the easiest way to do research. To those who waited for my words, I hope to be back with more stories to tell,” he said.
Neuroendocrine tumors are described as neuroendocrine carcinomas. They can start in a number of places in the body, including the lungs and the gastrointestinal tract.
Dr. Sunil Kumar, assistant professor, surgery (Oncology) at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi, described neuroendocrine tumor as a “special or rare” form of cancer.
“They originate from nerve and gland tissues combined.
These are special cells which are present in either the GI (gastrointestinal) tract or in the lungs. There are special cells which are generally immature in nature and don’t have very good behavior.”
If detected early, it is treatable, he told PTI.
Irrfan first spoke of his health on March 5, when he revealed that he was suffering from a rare disease but was yet to get a conclusive diagnosis.
“Sometimes you wake up with a jolt with life shaking you up. The last fifteen days, my life has been a suspense story,” he had said.
On February 21, the actor’s spokesperson had released a statement that he was diagnosed with a “severe case of jaundice.”
The next day, director Vishal Bhardwaj, who was scheduled to begin the shoot of his next, starring Irrfan and Deepika Padukone, postponed the filming of the project citing health concerns of his lead actors.
Irrfan, one of India’s most versatile actors, has also made a name for himself in the west, where he has been a part of critically-acclaimed films such as “The Namesake,” “Life of Pi” and “Jurassic World.”
At home, the actor has delivered standout performances in films such as “Paan Singh Tomar,” “Haasil,” “Maqbool,” and “Piku.”