Ayurveda considers that Cancer is namely the final stage of a chronic imbalance in body constituents. Our body constituents can be influenced by our intake of foods, drinks, our breathing, daily, weekly, seasonal rhythm and our mental condition. When these factors do not correspond to our body constitution (that originates from birth), they will become imbalanced. Their natural relationship will begin to show disturbances.
Factors responsible could be:
• Someone has an improper lifestyle according to his body constitution, his environment and the seasons.
• Someone has improper eating habits/diet according to his body constitution, environment and seasons.
• Toxins from the environment penetrate both mind and body.
• Vitiated doshas, dhatus (tissues) and srotas (channels) are left untreated or wrongly treated.
Detail Study of Risk Factors:
Recent studies have shown that some types of cancer are genetically predisposed, such as breast cancer and certain types of colon and skin cancer. Individuals with Down syndrome have a greater risk of developing acute leukemia.
• Smoking- Tobacco is one of the main causes of cancer. It can bring about head, neck, lung, mouth, and larynx & bladder cancer.
• Ultraviolet- Increase the risk of skin cancer
• X-ray beams- X-rays are forms of radiant energy that can penetrate the body and are used to produce medical images, are used in petrochemical industries, nuclear power plants and are also present in space. Prolonged exposure to X-rays can result in cancer of the blood cells or acute leukemia.
• Excessive physical effort.
• Debilitated persons (people suffering from impairments, disease or medical conditions).
• Smoked or conserved foods-These foods contain substances that may lead to stomach cancer, when eaten in excess.
• Fat percentage- Research studies have shown that foods containing less than 30% calories from fat, reduce breast and lung cancer risk.
• Alcohol-Consuming large amounts of alcohol increases the risk of cancer of the esophagus, mouth and throat.
• Spoiled food.
• Frequently eating heavy meals.
• Not eating foods according to your body constitution.
• (Stale) foods that are kept too long.
• Incompatible food combinations.
• Dry foods.
Chemical carcinogenic substances:
• Asbestos- Prolonged inhalation of asbestos increases the risk of lung cancer and pleural cancer.
• Nickel- Prolonged inhalation of nickel increases the risk of Lung cancer and nasal cavity cancer.
• Other substances: arsenic, aromatic amines, benzene, Chromates, vinyl chloride.
Chemicals used in medicine
• DES:Diethylstilbestrol. In 1970’s DES, a synthetic estrogen, was widely used by pregnant women to supplement the woman’s natural estrogen production.
• Other chemicals: alkyl substances, oxymetholone and Thorotrast (radiographic contrast agent).
• Papillomavirus- A virus that can cause genital warts and increases the risk of cervical cancer.
• Hepatitis B virus- Might cause liver cancer.
• Epstein-Bar Virus- Causes Burkitt’s lymphoma in Africa and cancers of nose and pharynx.
• HIV.-Might cause lymphoma and cancer of the blood.
Some species of parasites are known to cause cancer, such as Schistosoma and Clonorchis. They respectively cause Bladder cancer, pancreatic cancer and bile duct cancer.
Cancer is a chronic imbalance of the body constituents. Some types of cancer are definitely curable and some still have poor prognosis. Therefore, developing new forms of treatments for them is an ongoing search. An Ayurvedic treatment will always focus on restoring the balance and the harmony to the body, mind and soul. This is enabled by treating the cause: the imbalance of the constituents. For this there are herbs and specific therapies available. On the road to recovery, maintaining inner balance with adequate rest, faith and hope should be majorly considered.