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ISRO chairman S Somanath has revealed that he was diagnosed with cancer on the day of the launch of India’s Aditya L1 solar mission but he said he was “completely healthy now”.

In an interview with Tarmak Media House, S Somanath said he underwent an operation to remove the growth in his stomach, followed it up with chemotherapy and was now completely cured of the disease. “I am completely healthy now,” he said. He said he realised that there were some health issues during the launch of the Chandrayaan-3 mission last year but was not very clear about it.

It was during a scan on the day of the Aditya L-1 launch that he gained a clue about his condition.

“After the launch, I underwent further tests in Chennai, confirming the presence of a cancerous growth in my large intestine. Following this diagnosis, I underwent surgery and chemotherapy”, the space veteran said.

Asked about the reaction of his family members to the diagnosis, he said, “Undoubtedly, they would have been shocked. But now, I perceive cancer and its treatment has a solution. There is a message that it is not incurable.” He sought advice from family members who had overcome similar challenges, which helped alleviate his concerns.

“I was uncertain about complete cure at the time I was undergoing the process,” he admitted, highlighting the nature of his battle against cancer.

Mr Somanath said he would be undergoing regular checkups and scans, but he was now completely cured and has resumed duties.

He said after spending four days in the hospital for surgery, he resumed his duties.

He said that he will now undergo annual check-ups.

“No, I do not experience any pain now. I have no pain now. It was simply a growth. They detected it and had it removed,” he said in the interview for the WriteTake programme of the media outlet.

He said that he continued his responsibilities even during his diagnosis and treatment period.