Cancer is a term used for diseases in which abnormal cells divide without control and are able to invade other tissues. The abnormal cells are termed cancer cells, malignant cells, or tumor cells. Untreated cancers can cause serious illness and death.
Many cancers and the abnormal cells that compose the cancer tissue are further identified by the name of the tissue that the abnormal cells originated from (for example, breast cancer, lung cancer, colon cancer).
Cells become cancer cells because of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) damage. DNA is in every cell and it directs all the cell’s actions. In a normal cell, when DNA gets damaged the cell either repairs the damage or the cell dies. In cancer cells, the damaged DNA is not repaired, and the cell doesn’t die like it should. Instead, the cell goes on making new cells that the body doesn’t need. These new cells all have the same abnormal DNA as the first cell does.
Cancer has largely remained incurable due to its complexity and its ability to spread rapidly and uncontrollably.
There are over 200 types of cancers; most can fit into the following categories
- Carcinoma: Cancer that begins in the skin or in tissues that line or cover internal organs
- Sarcoma: Cancer that begins in bone, cartilage, fat, muscle, blood vessels, or other connective or supportive tissue
- Leukemia: Cancer that starts in blood-forming tissue such as the bone marrow and causes large numbers of abnormal blood cells to be produced and enter the blood
- Lymphoma and myeloma: Cancers that begin in the cells of the immune system
- Central nervous system cancers: Cancers that begin in the tissues of the brain and spinal cord
Tumors can be benign or malignant.
- Benign tumors aren’t cancerous. They can often be removed, and, in most cases, they do not come back. Cells in benign tumors do not spread to other parts of the body.
- Malignant tumors are cancerous. Cells in these tumors can invade nearby tissues and spread to other parts of the body. The spread of cancer from one part of the body to another is called metastasis.
Ayurveda Perspective & Management of Cancer
Ayurveda, one of the major traditional forms of medical practice in India, has produced many useful leads in developing medications for chronic diseases.
Ayurveda is an intricate system of healing that originated in India thousands of years ago. Historical evidence of Ayurveda can be found in the ancient books of wisdom known as the Vedas that were written over 6000 years ago. Ayurveda provides novel approaches to cancer prevention that are considered safe.
Classical Ayurvedic texts have several references to cancer. Some terms used to describe the condition are general while others are much more specific.
Charaka and Sushruta Samhita (700 BC) both described the equivalent of cancer as granthi (benign or minor neoplasm) and arbuda (malignant or major neoplasm). Both can be inflammatory or non-inflammatory, based on the doshas (Vata, Pitta and Kapha) involved. The term dosha describes the three principles that govern the psychophysiological response and pathological changes in the body. Ayurveda described health as the balanced coordination of these three systems in body, mind and consciousness. The fundamental theory of Ayurvedic treatment is based on restoration of the balance between these three major bodily systems.
Tridoshic tumours are usually malignant because all three major body humors lose mutual coordination, resulting in a morbid condition.
Arbuda is the most specific term for a cancerous malignancy. Gulma is one another reference used to describe any palpable hard mass in the abdomen. It is any hard, tumor like mass in the abdominal region, which could be benign or malignant.
Ayurvedic classification of neoplasms depends upon various clinical symptoms in relation to tridoshas.
- Group I: Diseases that can be named as clear malignancies, including arbuda and granthi, such as mamsarbuda (sarcomas) and raktarbuda (leukaemia), mukharbuda (oral cancer), and asadhya vrana (incurable or malignant ulcers).
- Group II: Diseases that can be considered as cancer or probable malignancies, such as ulcers and growths. Examples of these are mamsaja oshtharoga (growth of lips), asadhya galganda (incurable thyroid tumour), tridosaja gulmas, asadhya udara roga, (abdominal tumours like carcinomas of the stomach and liver or lymphomas).
- Group III: Diseases with the possibility of malignancy, such as visarpa (erysipelas), asadhya kamala (incurable jaundice), asadhya pradara (intractable dysmenorrhea or leukorrhea) and tridosaja nadi vrana (intractable sinusitis).
At CHARAKA, we are providing effective treatment for cancer, focusing on the principle of detoxification, rejuvenation. Our treatment involves:
- Shamana chikitsa (treatment using Ayurvedic medicines orally)
- Shodhana chikitsa (detoxification through Panchakarma therapy)
- Rasayana chikitsa (immunotherapy, rejuvenation or Kayakalpa)
- Diet & life style management
- Satvavajaya (couselling)
- Daiva vyapashraya chikitsa (divine therapy), Yoga & Pranayama are also suggested as per the need and condition of the patient.
Our cancer therapies are based on the philosophy of Removal the cancerous cells when possible and destroy any cells that remain.
Our Ayurvedic treatments can be safely combined with chemotherapy and radiotherapy procedures to minimize the side effects. Even in surgical treatment, this treatment can be started immediately for further healing and most importantly to prevent metastasis.
Early detection, early medical or surgical interventions are believed to be the key factors in combating cancer effectively. Similarly early stage Ayurvedic treatment as a co-therapy yields best possible results.