India veteran actor Tom Alter diagnosed with cancer 

Veteran Bollywood actor, Tom Alter has been diagnosed with skin cancer, his son said on Monday, a week after he was admitted to Mumbai’s Saifee Hospital.

The television actor of American descent is battling stage four skin cancer.

In a phone conversation with Indian News Agency, his son, Jamie said: “It is what is called a squamous cell carcinoma (a type of skin cancer). It is a relapse of the same thing which had happened last year and unfortunately, for various reasons, it was not detected at that time and has come back.”

“Last year, he had to get his thumb amputated due to the condition. Now, he is in stage four,” Jamie said.

“He is fighting it well. He is showing the will to battle it out.He is under the best care possible. Various doctors across the country are in consultation. As a family, we are very happy with the treatment he is getting.

“His bodily functions are absolutely fine. The doctors are very happy with that. The past one week has gone in getting him in a state of physical strength, whereby the doctor is able to start the next round of medication.

“We will be releasing statements to the media as and when things happen.”

The actor is known for starring in television shows like ‘Bharat Ek Khoj’, ‘Zabaan Sambhalke’ and ‘Betaal Pachisi’. Tom has also played vital roles inh successful films like ‘Gandhi’, ‘Shatranj Ke Khilari’, ‘Kranti’, ‘Aashiqui’ and ‘Parinda’.

In 2008, he was recognised with the Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian honour of India.

The 67-year-old veteran actor has had a relapse of a squamous cell carcinoma. He is under treatment and expert supervision at Saifee Hospital. His family has asked for privacy as the treatment continues.

Alter, a gold medal diploma graduate in acting in 1974 from the prestigious Film and Television Institute of India in Pune, has acted in over 300 movies apart from numerous TV shows, perhaps most famously as the gangster Keshav Kalsi in the hit soap opera Junoon which ran for a record five years during the 1990s.

In addition to acting, Alter has also ventured into direction and was a sports journalist in the late 1980s to early 1990s. He was the first person to interview Sachin Tendulkar for TV when the cricketer was yet to debut for India. Alter has written three books, one non-fiction and two fiction, and in 2008 was awarded the prestigious Padma Shri by the Indian government in recognition for his services to the field of arts and cinema.

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