Recently we celebrated Women’s day with lot of enthusiasm and zeal. Everyone spoke a lot about women equality, women empowerment and all related things. A day before I was about to give seminar on women related cancer, a patient visited to clinic with the history of cervical cancer. When asked if she has a habit of eating stale food, she gave a very surprised gaze towards me and sarcastically said that “being a woman it is my duty to eat it myself and not to serve it to my family! I was so disappointed having heard this on the occasion of International Women’s day.


Next day I heard a woman speaking that women should be allowed to do things the way they want. I questioned the group of ladies that who should allow you? Who should empower you? Who should give you the equal rights? It is no one else but YOU. You should start respecting yourself, your thoughts and most importantly your own body. Women in urban population are so busy working for themselves and their family that they completely ignore their health issues. Only 1 in 50 women actually does any form of exercise regularly. How can you empower yourself without actually being healthy?


The Indian Council of Medical Research recently surveyed that India might register over 17 lakh new cases of cancer and over 8 lakh deaths due to cancer by 2020.


Among these cases, it is more of women than men, who have been diagnosed with cancer, with the most common forms being breast, lung and cervical cancer.


Stress is an important factor in everyone’s life these days which could also be a major risk factor for Cancer. Indulging in any form of hobby like dance, music, painting etc can also help you deal with stress. But again the ratio of woman actually doing this stuff as compared to men is disappointing.


Ayurveda believes that prevention is better than cure. Moreover while talking about cancer; early detection always has greater chances of successful treatment. Visiting a doctor for check up in case of any problem or going for a routine follow-up for general check up is the most ignored fact by women.


Eating healthy food, doing exercise or yoga, indulging in any form of stress busting activity and not ignoring their health issues are the facts women should really reconsider as it could certainly empower them.

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In India, cancer of the Ovary constitutes nearly 7 percent of all female-cancers. A large part of the Ovarian Cancer can be prevented, no doubt. So let us discuss how to protect ourselves from this silent cancer.


Types of Ovarian Cancers:


1) Epithelial Tumours- about 90 percent


2) Stromal Tumours- about 7 percent


3) Germ cell Tumours- very little


It is important to note that we can prevent only the ovarian cancers of epithelial origin.


Signs and Symptoms:


1) Pain in the abdomen and pelvis.

2) Bloating and pressure in the abdomen.

3) Urination frequently.

4) Abdominal fullness after eating even small quantity of foods.

5) Swelling of abdomen

6) Abnormal bleeding per vagina.


Other symptoms are:

1) Indigestion

2) Heartburn

3) Fatigue

4) Pain in the back

5) Irregularities in menstruation

6) Constipation

7) Pain during intercourse


These symptoms may occur in some other diseases also. So, if the symptoms persist, you are to contact with your house-physicians.


Risks of having Ovarian Cancer:

If you be aware of the risks of getting Ovarian Cancer, then you can take decisions of what to do and how you and your family members can protect yourselves from Cancer of Ovary. The risks are as follows:

1) A family history of Cancer of Ovary or Breast.

2) A personal history of Breast, Uterus and Colon Cancer.

3) If you have mutated BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes (in this case the risk of Ovarian Cancer is 6 times more than that of general population).

4) Obesity.

5) Use of fertility drugs.

6) Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)

7) Endometriosis

8) No history of pregnancy.

9) Using talcum powder between the thighs and genitalia.

10) Diabetes

11) Older Age


How to lower your Risk of Ovarian Cancer:


1) Giving birth to a baby will reduce the risk of Ovarian Cancer.

2) If you have gone for tubal ligation, then you have lowered the risk of developing Ovarian Cancer.

3) Longer a woman is taking the birth control pills, more she is protected against the Cancer of Ovary almost upto 30-60 percent. Nevertheless it should be kept in mind the other side also that birth control pills may slightly increase the risk of Breast Cancer.

4) Breast feeding to baby lowers the risk.

5) If a woman is genetically in high risk of getting Ovarian Cancer, then preventive surgery to remove the ovaries and fallopian tubes may be considered. This surgery is known as salpingo-oophorectomy. If the woman is post-menopausal, then this surgery will reduce the risk of Ovarian Cancer by 85-90 percent.

Other modes of Prevention:

A) Exercise:
Exercise in the forms of walking, jogging, dancing, swimming, cycling, domestic works etc. will reduce the risk of Ovarian Cancer.

B) Foods which can prevent Ovarian Cancer:

1) Endive: It can reduce the risk of Ovarian Cancer by about 75 percent, it contains anticancer agent known as Kaempferol (also found in Spinach, Kale, Broccoli). Kaemferol is also an anti-angiogenic agent.

2) Onion: Contains anticancer agent like apigenin, anthocyanin, myricetin, quercetin. Red onions are 60 percent more anti-cancerous than yellow or white onions. Take raw onions, because boiling will reduce the anticancer property by 30 percent.

3) Tomato: Contains anticancer agent Lycopene which can reduce the risk of Ovarian Cancer by 60 percent.

4) Fish: Contains anticancer agent Omega-3 fatty acids which can lower the risk of Ovarian Cancer by 30 percent.

5) Low fat consumption.

6) High fibre diet.

7) Reduce meat and alcohol consumption.

8) Other fruits and vegetables having antioxidants.


Ovarian Cancer is usually a cancer of the older women and is more common in women of Western Countries than Indian women. Still Ovarian Cancer is slightly on the rise in India. So, we should follow all the preventive measures immediately to combat this cancer.

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Diet is an important area of intervention for primary cancer prevention. Epidemiological studies strongly suggest that high intake of food rich in beta carotene, vitamin E, vitamin C, selenium, zinc, copper and iron decrease the risk of some cancers.

Free radicals are highly reactive chemicals that have potential to harm cells. Free radicals can be hazardous and damage cells, including DNA, proteins, cell membranes. These factors play a role in the development of cancer and other health conditions.

Antioxidants or “free radical scavengers” are chemicals that interact with and neutralize free radicals, thus preventing from damage. Fruits, vegetables, and grains are rich sources of dietary antioxidants.

Vitamin E or tocopherol occurs widely in nature and is a intracellular antioxidant that protects polyunsaturated fatty acids (component of cell membranes) and prevents the formation of carcinogens from cancer causing compounds. Lycopene is the most effective singlet-oxygen quenchers, it helps in destruction of free radicals. Increase intake of lycopene has reduced the risk of oral, breast, cervix, pancreas, colon, lung cancers. Vitamin A and C, folic acid have protective role at the molecular level in cancer development. Dietary deficiencies of antioxidant are known risk factors in the pathogenesis of cancer to stop further development.


BETA CAROTENE – Green leafy vegetables, ripe yellow fruits and vegetables like papaya, musk melon, mango, pumpkin, carrots.

VITAMIN C – Citrus fruits like orange, lemon and sweet lime, guava, goose berry, sprouted pulses.

VITAMIN E – Cereals, cereal products, oil seeds, nuts.

SELENIUM, ZINC – Sea foods and cereals.

COPPER – Oysters, liver, mushroom, nuts.

IRON – Green leafy vegetables, cereals millet, pulses, green peas, soy bean, Bengal gram dhal., garden cress seeds.

LYCOPENE – Tomatoes, guava, dried apricots.

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Human body is made of millions of cells coming together to form different systems and performing various functions in our body. Thus in every human being cells grow and divide to form new cells. This way the older damaged cells die and new healthy cells take their place. This cycle of cell formation and destruction ensures proper function of every system in our body.

In Cancer some of the body cells begin to divide when they are not needed and some cells survive and remain in the body when they should die. This causes break down of the orderly cycle of cell formation resulting in unwanted multiplication of cells. Thus the beginning of this disease occurs with abnormal cell division and hence prevention should aim at avoiding or restricting the same.

Since cells play a major role in pathophysiology of this disease, maintaining healthy cells in our body is a way which can help us to overcome their ability of dividing abnormally.

Healthier the cells, lesser are their chances of starting abnormal division.

In an event of uncontrolled cell division these healthier cells can themselves take over the abnormally dividing cells and stop the disease process right away.

A balance diet, good physical activity like exercise, yoga etc., breathing exercises like pranayama & positive attitude in life can certainly help us nourish our body cells.

Avoiding excess exposure to harmful radiations emitted by cell phones, Wi-Fi stations etc., excess consumption of hybridized food and exposure to harmful chemicals in the form of herbicides, chemical cleansers, toxic cosmetics etc. are certain ways we can adopt to maintain the health of our body cells.

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  The Ayurveda views of our embodied nature (body, mind and soul) and how it works, the causes of disease and the treatment of disease are all connected together in a beautiful, clear, and wonderful system of optimal health and total well-being.

      The term Yoga itself means to unite, combine, harmonize, or integrate. A truly yogic approach is inherently an integrative approach, harmonizing Body, Prana, Senses, Mind, and Consciousness. Modern Yoga has defined itself primarily in terms of asana or physical postures. It largely consists of the application of Yoga asana as an adjunct physical therapy for the treatment of diseases as primarily diagnosed and treated by modern medicine.

      According to Ayurveda, Yoga therapy must consider all eight limbs of Yoga Practice known as Ashtang Yoga. Ashtang is translated as “eight-limbs”. The classical yoga as defined by Patanjali in the Yoga Sutras includes the following eight limbs. The path of yoga is most effectively practiced in this order.

    1. Yama (moral restraints) – how we relate to others
    2. Niyam (observances) – how we relate to ourselves
    3. Asana (posture)
    4. Pranayama (moderation of the movements of Prana)
    5. Pratyahara (moderation of the sense organs)
    6. Dharana (concentration)
    7. Dhyana (meditation)
    8. Samadhi (meditative absorption)

      A yogic approach to healing is not a specialization or a sideline technique but requires synthesis of all levels and aspects of healing.Yoga has an eightfold approach from life-style practices and values through asana, pranayama, to Samadhi. If we reduce Yoga to asana, we are not practicing Yoga or an integrative approach

      Yoga promotes a natural way to help us relax and cope with stress, anxiety and depression.Yoga could help to reduce anxiety, depression, fatigue and stress for some patients. And it improved the quality of sleep, mood and spiritual well being for some people.

  • Yoga & Cancer: An overview
  • Yoga used as therapy for cancer can help clear out toxins accumulated during cancer treatment more effectively.

    Yoga asana stimulate not just muscles, but also increases blood flow, balances the glands and enhances the lymphatic flow in the body, all of which enhances the body’s internal purification processes.

    The deep, relaxing breathing often emphasized in yoga for cancer therapy also increases the current of oxygen-rich blood to the cells, delivering vital nutrients to tired cells and further clearing out toxins.

    Yoga for cancer survivors and patients also provides an internal anchor of calm. Many practicing yoga therapy have discovered an interesting, subtle benefit, an increased awareness of a great, internal stillness and sense of unity.


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A well balanced plant-based diet filled with a variety of vegetables, fruits, soy, nuts, whole grains, dairy and beans can help lower your risk for many types of cancer.

  • Be in right weight:Weight gain, overweight and obesity increase the risk of a number of cancers, including bowel, breast, prostate, pancreatic, endometrial, kidney, gallbladder, oesophageal, and ovarian cancers.
  • Be physically active for at least 30 minutes every day: Physical activity decreases the risk of colon, endometrial and postmenopausal breast cancer.
  • Avoid sugary drinks and limit consumption of energy-dense food : Foods that are high in fats, added sugars, and low in fiber, such as many fast and convenience foods, as well as sodas promote weight gain that is associated with a higher cancer risk.
  • Eat more of a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and pulses such as beans.:Fruits and vegetables are the best sources of antioxidants such as beta-carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E, and selenium.
  • Limit consumption of red meats (such as beef, pork, and lamb) and avoid processed meats.
  • Limit alcoholic drinks: Alcohol increases the risk of several cancers.
  • Limit consumption of salt and avoid moldy grains and cereals: Limit consumption of processed foods with added salt to ensure an intake of less than 2.4g sodium a day. Do not eat moldy grains or legumes.
  • Where possible, aim to meet nutritional needs through diet alone, instead of using supplements to try to protect against cancer.
  • It is best for mothers to breastfeed exclusively for up to 6 months and then add other liquids and foods. Babies who are breastfed are less likely to be overweight as children or adults.
  • After treatment, cancer survivors should follow the recommendations for cancer prevention.Follow the recommendations for diet, healthy weight, and physical activity.

A well balanced plant-based diet filled with a variety of vegetables, fruits, soy, nuts, whole grains, dairy and beans can help lower your risk for many types of cancer.

  • Author:Ms. Kalpana Rani, Dietician, DSRC Hyderabad
  • Tags:Cancer, Cancer prevention, Nutrition, Diet
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An anti-cancer diet is an important strategy you can use to reduce your risk of cancer. For example, if you eat at least two servings of fruits and three servings of vegetables daily and eat the right amount of food, drink plenty of water to stay at a healthy weight, you have achieved the half goal.

Beside this, the nature, mother of all of us, provides all the medicine for our better living & cure. To get optimum benefit of those medicinal properties of fruits & veggies, it is always suggested to eat seasonal & local.

Because Foods that are in-season generally have more nutrients than others. Almost all seasonal foods have some medicinal properties to fight several diseases. But regular & proper intake of some super foods helps better management & prevention for cancer.

Just include these five super foods in regular diet, in proper amount & get the benefit.

five super foods

  • Green tea: -Green tea has powerful antioxidants like flavonoids & EpigallocatechinGallate (EGCG) that may protect against cancer. Multiple studies show that green tea drinkers have a lower risk of various types of cancer. Regular intake:-not more than 5 cup/day.
  • Flaxseeds:-flaxseeds (also called linseeds) are a rich source of micronutrients, dietary fiber, manganese, vitamin B1, and the essential fatty acid- alpha-linolenic acid, also known as ALA or omega-3. Flax seed benefits have been proven time and time again and even including fighting breast, prostate, ovarian and colon cancer. Regular intake: – 2 tsp./day.
  • Garlic: – Add garlic to everything you eat. It contains sulfur compounds that may stimulate the immune system’s natural defenses against cancer, and may have the potential to reduce tumor growth. Studies suggest that garlic can reduce the incidence of stomach cancer. Regular intake: – 10-12 cloves/day.
  • Citrus food:-A daily dose of citrus fruits may cut the risk of mouth, throat, and stomach cancers by half. Regular intake:-2-3 citrus fruit/day.
  • Turmeric:-Recent studies show turmeric is a powerful adversary to cancer. Curcumin shows a marked ability to inhibit cancer cell growth, boost antioxidant levels and the immune system, and kill cancer cells. It seems to work on improving mitochondrial function at a cellular level, and it improves metabolism. Even against drug-resistant strains of leukemia, curcumin caused cell death of cancer cells. Regular intake: – 2 to 2.5 grams of fresh turmeric/every alternative day.

IMPORTANT:Keep in mind that seasonal foods vary depending on region, meaning priority should be given to local foods.

  • Author:Ms. Nabaruna Ganguly, Kolkata, Dietitian, D. S. Research Centre, Kolkata
  • Tags:Cancer, Cancer prevention, Nutrition, Diet
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