Thursday, December 13, 2012
Ayurveda and Cancer Management
Mr. J.C. Pant then went ahead to explain the importance of Ayurveda and how it can contribute in wellness and management of cancer before Dr.Mangali, Joint Director of Ayush took on the stage.
He mentioned how happy he was to be associated with the program in management of cancer. Mr. Shivakumar, a cancer battle winner was bothering him to come up with an alternative ayurvedic solution to management of cancer.
Ayurveda is an old science, which has been practiced in India for more than 5000 years. Though there is no mention of cancer in ayurveda, there has been mention about the symptoms that indicate cancer in the books of ayurveda. Cancer is not a disease or illness but an uncontrollable growth of cells that do not comply with the rules of life. The symptom of Kshataja Khaza is very similar to the symptoms of lung cancer we see today. Many of such diseases mentioned in the ayurvedic books of past show similar symptoms to cancer. Therefore cancer is not a new dreaded disease to ayurveda.
The word ‘cancer’ may be new but ancient Ayurvedic classics are aware of the clinical features, resembling cancer, with the names such as Apachi, Gulma, Granthi, and Arbuda. Following are names of some of the conditions mentioned in Ayurvedic classics that have relevance to cancer manifestations in modern medicine. Charmakeel has symptoms similar to Keloid, Pandu looks like Leukaemia, Apachi is nothing but older version of Hodgkin's Disease, Stanarbuda/Agantuja Stanaroga is now called Breast Cancer, Raktagulma has become Tumors of Uterus / Ovary in modern terminology, Swarabhangahas all symptoms of tumors of Larynx and Raktapitta, Pandu has all symptoms indicating Various Type of Leukemia.
A special cell for treatment of cancer has been opened up by Ayush for management of cancer in patients who are in 4th stage of cancer, those who were neglected by the mainstream treatment, those who do not want to go through chemotherapy and those patients who refuse to undergo the standard treatment for cancer at any cost. No one is refused treatment at this cell.
Where as in many hospitals after going through the significant side effects involved in standard treatment of cancer, which include hair loss, skin rashes, body pain, loss of body weight, weakness and debility, loss of appetite, diarrhea, bleeding, impotence, etc. the patient may be considered terminal in case the cancer is not controlled. Often the patients in the final or terminal stage are not treated anymore but rather sent home where they then die a slow, miserable and painful death.
This is where Ayurveda can step in to ease the experience of a dying cancer patient which can be ameliorated by making use of Ayurvedic principles. Ayurveda can be helpful in the management of cancer in many ways such as—prophylactic, palliative, curative and supportive. Ayurvedic medicines help to improve the quality of life of the patients. Ayurvedic preparations can act as an adjuvant or a co-therapy along with chemotherapy or radiotherapy and not as an alternative treatment to cancer. It is also helpful in post-surgery care where the Ayurvedic medicines can be used to minimize the side effects of these therapies.
Pain management is one of the main aspects that are stressed upon by the doctors over there. Even a simple enema therapy can be effective in management of various illnesses, which was proved by the Dr. in Pune.
Ayurveda does not want to venture into the area where standard medicine can help a patient. This point was made very clear by Dr. Mangali. He stressed that Ayurveda came to the aid of those people who could not benefit by standard medical treatment. Their goal was to start cancer detection units in their hospitals. He also spoke about the contribution of Dr. Ibrahim Nagnoor of Kidwai in bringing about the revolutionary change in the different aspects in management of cancer.