The global incidence of Cancer is scoring due to rapidly aging population in most countries. By the year 2020, there will be 20 million new cancer patients each year.
According to the recent reports from the federal health agencies and the American Cancer Society, it is predicted that the number of Americans diagnosed with cancer each year will double within the next 50 years, due to more people living long enough to develop the disease. The number of cancer patients that are 85 years and older is expected to increase fourfold within this same time period. The good news is that death rates from cancer continue to fall, about 1% throughout the late 1990s.
According to the National Institutes of Health estimates, cancer is costing the U.S. $157 billion a year. The cancer burden is rising and will strain Medicare. The numbers are quite mind-numbing, but it’s important to make clear that we are addressing an epidemic here and not just some minor complaint. The figures are similar around the world.
For smokers, the American Cancer Society offered these sobering numbers in a 1996 publication:
- Chance of dying in single airline trip: 1 in 815,000
- Chance of dying in a skydiving jump: 1 in 96,296
- Chance of being killed in a car accident before his/her 65th birthday: 1 in 143
- Chance that smoking will kill him/her by the age of 65: 1 in 5
In 2002 it is estimated that approximately 1.3 million new cancer cases will be diagnosed. The main categories are as follows:
- Breast cancer: 205,000
- Prostate cancer: 189,000
- Lung cancer: 169,400
- Colon cancer: 107,300
- Skin cancer: 58,300
Of the million people who get cancer every year in India, the vast majority is incurable at the time of diagnosis. At least two third of them get pain, vomiting, dysponea, fungating wounds and host of other symptoms add to their misery. In additional social, financial, emotional and spiritual factors compound their problem. They need pain relief and palliative care.
Head & neck cancer is a leading cause of morbidity & mortality in India. Among them oral cancer & cervical cancer constitute 25-30 % of all cancer in various hospitals in India. Surviving and living longer is not an ultimate aim for most of the cancer patients. They need to be made comfortable to carry out everyday activity without physical fuse and emotional fissure therefore, they must be rehabilitated.
Prevention of Cancer:
Ayurveda translates as the ‘Science of Life’ and it is strongly prevention-oriented. Ayurveda recommends ‘Heyam dukam anagatam’ which translates as ‘Avert the danger that has not yet come.’ Ayurveda provides wellness strategies for the mind, body, senses, and environment. For the mind, Ayurveda prescribes meditation. A lot of research has been done on Meditation , which shows reduced cancer in subjects practicing Meditation as well as reduced anxiety and enhanced peace and harmony. For the body, ayurveda has recommendations for diet, digestion, elimination, sleep, detoxification, yoga exercises, breathing exercises, etc. For the senses, ayurveda prescribes balanced functioning of all five senses. This means that the senses should not be overused, used in a distorted way, or underused. Overuse of the senses can be avoided by getting the proper amount of sleep and meditation.. Distorted use of the senses can be avoided by not watching gruesome scenes of torture and killing on TV, not listening to gossip and harsh criticisms of others, not eating spoiled food, not smelling foul odors, etc. No use of the senses should also be avoided, since the only way to accomplish this would be a complete withdrawal from ordinary existence.
A beneficial environment is also emphasized in ayurveda. This includes both the ‘near’ environment and the ‘far’ environment. Near environment refers to the place where you live and your workplace. Far environment addresses the effect of the stars and planets, etc. For example, the full moon has an effect on our emotions. The proper use of all aspects of life — mind, body, senses, and environment – brings about harmony and a long life that is free from disease and suffering.
The most important part of cancer prevention is eating a well-balanced diet. This means incorporating more fruits and vegetables, meats that are low in fat and plenty of heart-healthy whole grains into your diet. Certain vegetables, such as tomatoes and broccoli, carry antibodies that support cancer prevention of the prostate for men. If you can’t eat all your servings at one sitting, try to snack on them throughout the day. And because today’s society is surrounded by processed foods, reading nutrition labels is important when going to the store. Avoid foods that tend to be high in saturated fats, high fructose corn syrups and hydrogenated oils of any kind.
Once you have figured out how to eat healthier, the next step you should take is finding time to exercise. Finding ways to exercise does not mean you have to join a gym and hire a personal trainer. Exercise can come in simple forms, like vacuuming, walking your dog or playing with your children. Doctors just recommend that you get at least thirty minutes of physical activity 3 to 4 times a week. Find ways to make exercising fun for you and your family by going for walks together or buying everyone bicycles. Not only will this help you include exercising into your weekly routine, but you will also be teaching your loved ones how to live healthier.
Cancer prevention means making significant lifestyle changes. Simple decisions, such as snacking on fresh fruit and vegetables, can help you find room for healthier food choices. Getting your family involved in exercising helps physical activity become more fun and less of a chore for your loved ones. Taking small steps towards big transformations will aid you in the fight against cancer and provide you with the opportunity to live a long and healthy life.
Life Style for Prevention of Cancer:
Lifestyle is also an important component of prevention…
Let’s talk about sleep. The lack of sleep and proper rest is rampant in our society. According to an estimate from the National Sleep Foundation, drowsiness during work-time is costing us $18 billion a year in lost productivity. If we get enough rest our productivity will improve, but more importantly, sleep can help prevent cancer. Small molecules called cytokines build up in the body throughout the day, in response to toxins that accumulate as you fatigue. One of the most important of these is Interleukin-2, a well-known anti-cancer commando that is used in certain cancer treatments. Interleukin-2 increases significantly during sleep. It attaches to errant cells, such as cancer cells, and guides cancer-destroying immune cells (e.g. T-cells and NK cells – Natural Killer cells) directly to them. Another cytokine, called tumor necrosis factor, increases ten-fold during sleep and has been found to kill tumor cells. The hormone melatonin is another beneficial substance that increases during sleep. Melatonin is a great free radical fighter. During the deepest sleep, the body also secretes the hormone prolactin, which gets the immune cells doing an even better ‘search and destroy’ job on toxins sneaking around the body.
According to Ayurveda, if you don’t sleep well, you build up ama (toxins) in the body, which clogs the system. If you sleep well, you build up a nice quantity of ojas, the vital force that literally strengthens the underlying basis of DNA – pure consciousness. The better you sleep, the moreama you clean out and the more ojas you produce. The best time to go to bed is by 10 p.m. A little warm milk before bed helps in falling asleep. Adding some poppy seeds to your diet has a gentle, relaxing effect. If your mind is just too jazzed, we recommend taking an herbal preparation called Blissful Sleep. It contains Indian Valerian, known for its soothing effect; Muskroot, which has a calming effect; and Winter Cherry, to balance the mind and emotions.