Ayurvedic treatments focus on strengthening the body and improve its immune system. Cancer management too is possible through this ancient Indian system of medicine
Cancer is an abnormal cell growth disease that can get out of control and spread to surrounding organs and tissue. A damaged or abnormal cell can multiply and spread to surrounding cells, which can form a tumour and possibly spread to other areas of the body.
What causes cancer?
There is no one cause of cancer. Cancer has many possible causes and risk factors associated with it, and every type of cancer has varying risk factors. There are, however, several common risk factors that are associated with developing cancer:
- Genetic predisposition
- Alcohol use and obesity
- Excessive exposure to sunlight and ultraviolet light
- Damage or mutation of the cells
- Smoking or chewing tobacco
- Second-hand tobacco smoke
- Lack of physical activity
- Exposure to radiation
- Carcinogens such as asbestos, radiation, exhaust fumes, tobacco, arsenic, etc.
Types of tumours
Tumours can be classified as malignant or benign.
A tumour is considered cancerous or malignant if it has the potential to spread or invade nearby tissue. Abnormal cells may break off the main tumour and spread to different parts of the body via blood vessels or the lymphatic system. Malignant cells may also grow back after the surgical removal of the tumour.
Benign tumours on the other hand, do not spread or invade nearby tissue, and tend not to grow back after removal.
What are the symptoms of cancer?
The symptoms of cancer will vary depending on the type, and sometimes do not present until late in the disease. The symptoms can include:
- Unusual bleeding
- Skin changes
- Indigestion problems
- Trouble swallowing
- Unexplained weight loss
Ayurveda in supporting cancer treatment
Ayurveda takes a holistic approach to supporting the treatment of cancer. Different herbs are used according to the individual nature of each patient, the area of the body that is affected, and the aggravated body energies that are involved.
Ayurvedic treatments focus on strengthening the whole body and not just aiding in the treatment of the malignancy. Ayurvedic herbs may be used to promote circulation, assisting in cell rejuvenation, and improve the body’s immune system.
An important part of treatment is making sure the mind stays relaxed and free from stress. Meditation, yoga, counselling, and pranayama (controlled breathing) may be recommended as supportive measures to help decrease stress.
The Ayurvedic approach to supporting the treatment of cancer may include:
- Abstaining from food and lifestyle choices that may imbalance the three fundamental energies (tridosha)—vata, pitta, and kapha
- Improving digestive functions
- Using Ayurvedic treatments alongside chemotherapy or radiotherapy, or as post-surgery care
- Using Ayurvedic medicines, herbs, and tonics that may help minimise the side-effects of therapies.
- Panchakarma/detoxification Therapy/Bio- Cleansing Massage
Lifestyle and diet recommendations
Some dietary and lifestyle changes may be recommended during Ayurvedic treatments, which can include:
- Reducing sugar intake
- Eating plenty of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables
- Eat easily digestible food
- Avoid high-fat foods
- Avoid smoking and alcohol
For a natural way to support the treatment of cancer, Contact Any Qualified Ayurvedic Doctor and other health professionals
The writer is Clinical Director, Ayurveda Yoga Wellness Clinic, 125 Stud, Road, Dandenong Vic 3175; www.ayurvedayoga.com.au; Ph: 9794 8546