Bollywood actress Sonali Bendre is back in Mumbai, India, after spending time in New York City to get treatment for cancer. Bendre has been very open with her devoted fans about her battle with the disease, so it’s excellent to see her looking happy and healthy while out on the town with friends.
She was recently spotted out with a couple of friends at a restaurant in Bandra, a chic suburb of Mumbai — looking not only healthy, but quite fashionable. Bendre first announced that she was diagnosed with cancer in July of 2018 with an Instagram post. “Sometimes, when you least expect it, life throws you a curveball. I have recently been diagnosed with a high grade cancer that has matastised, which we frankly did not see coming,” she wrote at the time. “A niggling pain led to some tests, which led to this unexpected diagnosis. My family and close friends have rallied around me, providing the best support system that anyone can ask for. I am very blessed and thankful for each of them.”READ MORE
Since her bold disclosure, she has documented many milestones in her cancer journey on social media — including losing her hair, struggling with treatment, and all the ways cancer has changed her perspective on life.
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Took me a while to get used to having little hair. But once that set in, there was no looking back (literally!) ???? It has been months since I’ve even needed a ‘trim’. So, during the @bazaarindia shoot when @mickeycontractor said that I needed one, my first thought was, “Really??”. Before I could react, he was all set – armed with an eyebrow scissor, ready to go at it! I couldn’t stop smiling. Never thought I’d get a makeover of sorts like this, but I guess it’s #MyNewNormal. #SwitchOnTheSunshine #OneDayAtATime
Last week, Bendre spoke at the a Consortium of Accredited Healthcare Organizations conference about the importance of knowing your risk. “Early detection is most important,” Bendre said. “Right now, the disease is less scary … the treatment is actually more frightening and painful. If it were detected early, the cost of treatment would have been less. It would also have been [less] painful treatment.”
She also mentioned how important it is to be familiar with your family history, adding that she had relatives with cancer, but wasn’t aware of it — or that she could be at risk as well. “I wish I knew about it,” she said. “I wouldn’t have thought this would happen to me … I felt if this was so prevalent, why did I not know about it?” Bendre called on medical professionals and hospitals to work to make people aware about things like family risk and keeping up with recommended screenings.
Bendre may not have been specific about what type of cancer she is battling, but the fact that she has been so open about the ups and downs of her journey is really encouraging to people who have been through the same thing. And the SurvivorNet family is 100% behind her message of raising awareness. We recently spoke to Genetic Counselor Rachel Webster, who works with patients at MD Anderson Cancer Center, and she said families should absolutely be sharing their health histories.
“If someone in your family is found to have a predisposition to cancer … the first step is to start testing relatives most closely related to you,” Webster told SurvivorNet during a discussion on genetic testing (she was not discussing Sonali Bendre). “Those relatives might be brothers, sisters, parents, children … those first degree relatives are the ones that are at the highest probability of having that same genetic predisposition. Genetic counselors have specialized training in order to figure out what genetic testing might be the most useful for you and your family.”
Bendre is married to Indian film director Goldie Behl and the couple have a teenage son.