‘CANCER’ a non-communicable disease which is often thought as an untreatable, unbearably painful disease with no cure. Cancer is undoubtedly a serious and potentially life-threatening illness. It is one of the leading causes of death, worldwide. The truth of the matter is that there are multiple types of cancer, many of which can today be effectively treated so as to eliminate, reduce or slow the impact of the disease on patients' lives.
Our society has a myth about the cancer that it is because of fate/bad luck. Recently Indian Oncologists found that “not bad luck, pollutants & lifestyle cause most cancers”. The food we eat, the air we breathe and the choices we make—be it to smoke, drink alcohol or not exercise regularly—are more linked to our chances of getting cancer. The common causes for cancer includes obesity, poor diet habit, sedentary lifestyle, stress, environmental pollutants, radiation and genes.
4th of February has declared as ‘world cancer day’ to spread the awareness about the prevention, management, treatment and moral support to the cancer patients among the people so that the world cancer day can be declared as ‘world cancer free day’ and the integrative therapy has a major role towards the purpose.
Integrative approach towards cancer:
Integrative medicine is a healing-oriented medicine that considers the whole person—body, mind, spirit and lifestyle. Integrative medicine focus on how a cancer patient how patients with cancer can become more empowered in making decisions about their health care, and take action to bring optimal healing and well-being to their life journey. Integrative medicine includes both conventional and alternative therapies.
Cancer and yoga:
Yoga is promoted as a system of personal development. It has a positive approach towards every aspect of human life including physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and social. There are many research evidences about the positive approach of yoga towards various cancers which include a varieties of yoga like Iyengar, Hatha, Bikram, Ashtanga etc, but the practices consists on basic components like asanas, pranayamas, breathing exercises, relaxation and meditation. A recent research shows the impact of yoga on cancer in children and adolescents (J Pediatr Oncol Nurs. 2015 Feb 2. Yoga for Children and Adolescents After Completing Cancer Treatment. Hooke MC, Gilchrist L, Foster L, Langevin M, Lee J)
- Many researches emphasise the effectiveness of pranayama on cancer related fatigue in breast cancer patients.
- The psychological and behavioural approaches through yoga in pain management also indicates the importance of yoga in cancer survivors for their well-being.
- Physical exercise during treatment for breast and prostate cancer seems to cause no health risks and may lead to reductions in fatigue.
- Some studies seem to show that yoga may be able to reduce hot flushes in women with breast cancer.
- Research has shown that practice of exercise reduces stress, anxiety, depression and improves the levels of pain, insomnia, constipation and shortness of breath.
- There is evidence that regular practice of yoga is a key for healthy aging and has effect on age related DNA damage and cell repair process.
- A number of researches show that the stress reducing interventions like yoga can improve immune functions.
“PRACTICE YOGA AND STAY HEALTHY”