Veteran film and theatre actor Tom Alter is in the final stages of skin cancer, his son has confirmed. He has also got his right thumb amputated because of aggravated cancer. "He had gone to Saifee hospital for body pain but the doctors diagnosed him with cancer. Tom had been suffering for a long time but this is for the first time they have got to know about cancer. The problem is: Fourth stage cancer is generally considered to be the penultimate stage of the disease while recovery is said to be difficult from the fifth.
“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,” his son Jamie told IANS. Last year, Tom Alter had to get his thumb amputated due to the condition. Now, he is in stage four, Jamie said. Tom Alter has been admitted for a week in Mumbai’s Saifee Hospital. “He is fighting it well. He is showing the will to battle it out,” Jamie said, adding, “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.”
The Indian actor of American descent, Tom Alter made his big screen debut in 1976 with a small role in Dharmendra-starrer Charas and later went on to work in films like Shatranj Ke Khiladi, Gandhi, Kranti, Bose: The Forgotten Hero and Veer Zara. But it was his sitcom Zabaan Sambhalke (1993-1997) that made him a household name. The series, also starring Pankaj Kapoor, was the adaptation of British sitcom, Mind Your Language (1977).