Sajjad is a physician, pediatrician and cancer survivor.
More than 20 years ago, Sajjad diagnosed himself with parotid cancer. After extensive surgery to remove the cancerous cells from his parotid gland, Sajjad learned that he had an extremely rare and most malignant type of parotid cancer called Salivary Duct Carcinoma. He was given a 30% chance of surviving for 2 years.
Because of Sajjad’s medical training and his unwavering sense of hope & determination, he was no ordinary patient. He decided to take charge of his own treatments, to learn everything he could about his diagnosis and visit multiple experts across the country. Sajjad pushed for more aggressive chemo-radiation in addition to the radiation he was already receiving in hopes of reducing his chances of recurrence. When the cancer returned four years later, he knew the correct drug to keep the cancer cells from growing while he determined the best next steps. Almost two years later, Sajjad proposed Video Assisted Thoracic Surgery after several new cancerous spots appeared in both lungs.
The cancer never returned to Sajjad’s lungs, but instead attacked his bones three years after his final lung surgery. Never one to give up, Sajjad researched his condition and proposed a treatment method for himself that stopped the progression of cancer cells. Although Sajjad is still living with, and still fighting, the cancer, he continues to defy the odds with no end in sight. He is the longest known survivor with Salivary Duct Carcinoma.
Sajjad’s background includes a medical degree from Pakistan and residencies at New York Infirmary, St. Luke’s Hospital and New York University Medical Center. Sajjad is now retired from active medical practice and devotes all his time to cancer patients advocacy and support.
To inspire other cancer patients, Sajjad Iqbal has chronicled his amazing cancer journey in the form of a book titled, “Swimming Upstream, My Struggle and Triumph over Cancer and Medical Establishment.”