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“From Nature comes the disease and from Nature alone shall come the cure”

Cancer is the disease which knows no boundaries. It doesn’t discriminate and affects all of us either directly or indirectly.

Cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide, causing 8.2 million deaths per year. Out of which, four million people die prematurely (aged 30 to 69 years.) What concerns us more is the statistics that predict the increase in deaths due to cancer to 19.3 million in the year 2025, compared to 14.1 million in 2012.

However, we know that more than one-third of these deaths due to cancer is preventable and if detected early on, is curable. Another fact is that the economic cost of cancer far outweighs the cost of investing in preventive measures.

Taking these two facts into account, urgent actions need to be taken to fight the disease on all fronts.

“Alternative Healing Therapies” gives us an ideal opportunity to create awareness amongst the people “How being close to nature can help in the prevention of cancer and lead to a healthy life.” It allows us to clear up negative perceptions and misconceptions about this disease in the minds of people, which compel us to retrospect, study, plan and develop our strategies to address the cancer burden.

To check the spread of this huge epidemic, emphasis should be given to raise awareness about the disease among the general population, media, and health professionals as well.

“National Ayurveda Day” now declared as “Dhanvantri Din” will explore how we can implement what we already know in the areas of prevention, early detection, treatment, care, and in turn, open up to the exciting prospect that we can impact the global cancer burden for the better.

Despite the constant efforts to achieve the above-mentioned goals, disparities among people from different settings are growing, particularly in access to the prevention, treatment, and palliative care especially in developing countries like India where the economic cost of cancer treatment is unaffordable. Hence awareness should be raised about cancer prevention, adopting a healthy lifestyle, behaviour and on early detection.

Let’s review how Ayurveda can help to achieve this goal of prevention and treatment care.

Choosing a Healthy Lifestyle

The aim of “National Ayurveda Day” is to reduce the social and environmental risk factors for cancer and empower people to make healthy choices in order to achieve the global overarching goal of reducing premature deaths from NCDs by 25% by 2025 and reaching the aspirational targets of the World Cancer Declaration. 

At least one-third of occurrences for most cancers can be prevented through adopting a healthy lifestyle, not smoking, reducing alcohol consumption, eating a healthier balanced diet, and improving your physical health.

  • Don’t smoke.
  • Drink alcohol in moderation.
  • Eat fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and avoid high-fat foods, especially from animal sources.
  • Exercise regularly.

Diet and digestion –

  • Eat a wholesome (satvik) diet that is rich in natural cancer-fighting chemicals.
  • Eat after regular intervals and when you feel hungry.
  • Add beneficial spices and ingredients to your diet to fight cancer.
  • Avoid junk food, oily and spicy food etc., that makes the body susceptible to cancer. Avoid the toxic load on your digestive system.
  • Keep digestion working properly to enhance immunity, build up beneficial chemicals, and reduce toxin accumulation.
  • Reduce sugar intake.
  • One of the major causes of cancer is the disruption in the immune surveillance mechanism. By adopting Dinacharya and Ritucharya (daily & seasonal regimes described in Swasthavritta) along with simple lifestyle changes such as regular abhyanga massage, sleeping on time, reducing stress, emphasizing positive emotions etc., the immune system can be revitalized.
  • Avoid smoking, alcohol, and environmental pollutants. Due to the harmful effects of the various internal and external toxins we encounter every day it is crucial that we detoxify our physiology.
  • Detoxify your system following procedures of Panchakarma regularly (seasonal Panchakarma).
  • Add herbal formulations when necessary, to aid digestion, improve sleep, enhance immunity, etc.
  • Meditation and Yoga reduces stress level and improves the function of enzymes responsible for living longer (telomerase). Meditation brings harmony and peace into your life and brings homeostasis.
  • Be positive and kind to everyone in all circumstances which will make your surroundings positive. The condition in which people live and work influence their capacity to choose healthy lives, thus by adopting healthy behaviours (Swasthyavritta) early on in life, reduces the risk of cancer and other non-communicable diseases (NCD).

Early Detection –

Emphasis should be given on early detection programs.

Early detection strategies include strategies to improve knowledge of cancer among communities, health professionals and policymakers and increase awareness around the options for early detection.

By ensuring the availability and early access to detection programs for cancer, the burden of cancer in many countries can be significantly reduced.

Achieving Treatment for All

Every person has the right to access quality, effective cancer treatments and services without suffering economic hardship. Hence equal terms regardless of your geographic location.

To achieve this goal other systems of medicine should be evaluated based on scientific criteria in accordance with conventional medicine and new compounds and drugs should be invented.

An integrated approach is needed to manage cancer using the growing knowledge gained through scientific developments.

Thousands of herbal and traditional compounds are being screened worldwide to validate their use as anti-cancer drugs.  Indian medicinal plants which have curative aspects and re-described to have Rasayana properties can be effectively used in such conditions as they can help check our immune surveillance system. Medicinal plants with Rasayana properties help in slowing down the ageing process and provides protection against diseases.

Rasayanas provide long life, ability to remain young and maintain good intellect by enhancing proper uptake of nutrition by body cells thus imparting proper growth and improvement in seven vital tissues. This can be achieved by multifaceted actions of Rasayana drugs. With their antioxidant and anti-carcinogenic, immune-modulating properties these medicinal plants can activate immune responsiveness of an individual (organism).

Maximizing Quality of Life

Cancer can have a serious impact on a person’s emotional, physical, and mental state and cancer survivors are at risk of diminished quality of life for several years after diagnosis. Understanding this, a special support system should be built.

Efforts should be taken for maintaining “Quality of Life” of cancer patients. Maintaining social support networks and talking about cancer is important for both the person living with cancer and their close relatives.

There is much that can be done at an individual, community and governmental level, to harness and mobilize these solutions and to bring in a positive change.

Every action counts. Whether you do something on a large scale, give a small donation to a cancer institute, forwarding a text, a template, a quote on a social networking site or even wear a ribbon to spread the message.

YES, EVERY ACTION COUNTS…

Every action has an impact; Show the world that fighting cancer is not beyond us…