BREAST CANCER & Its Ayurvedic Remedies
Breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in women. It is the second most common cause of cancer death. According to National Cancer institute, a woman's lifetime risk of developing cancer is 1 in 8.
Risk Factors For Breast Cancer
• Socioeconomic status: Women of high socioeconomic status are more likely to develop breast cancer due to alcohol, smoking or stress.
• Age: Risk increases with age. The average age of breast cancer in general population is 62 years.
• Family history: Women who have a strong family history with breast or ovarian cancer particularly before menopause carry a greater than 50 percent chances of developing breast cancer.
• Gender: Less than 1% of all breast cancer cases occur in men.
• Ethnicity: Black women are more likely to develop breast cancer before age 40 than Asian women while white women are more likely to develop breast cancer at the age of 40 and older than Asian women.
• Menstrual history: The longer the woman are exposed to estrogen, the greater the risk of developing breast cancer.
• Pregnancy and breast feeding: Late first pregnancy (> 30 years) and never been pregnant increases risk of breast cancer.
• Hormone replacement therapy (HRT): Intake of combination of estrone, estradiol and progestin between the ages of 50 to 79 have 26% increased risk of developing breast cancer.
• Alcohol: Alcohol intake increases risk of breast cancer in females. One glass of wine a day may not provide protection to heart in case of females. One of the explanations is that alcohol makes more estrogen and the second is that females may be lacking enzymes which degrade alcohol creating more free radicals.
• Weight: Obese women are more likely to get breast cancer after menopause. Fat manufactures more hormones and also store more toxins like pesticides, insecticides and others.
• Presence of other cancers: Presence of cancers other than breast cancer also increase the risk of developing breast cancer.
• Diet and lifestyle: Eating high fat diet and low physical activity is associated with higher risk of getting breast cancer.
• Smoking: Increases the risk of breast cancer.
• Mood: Bad mood, bad life experience and work load increases chances of breast cancer.
• Lingerie use: Wearing bra with steel rings and sleeping with bra increases the chances of breast cancer. Breast is one of the biggest lymph gland which needs to be exercised to drain properly.
Signs And Symptoms of Breast Cancer
• Small lump that the woman feels in the breast.
• Unbearable pain in breast.
• In case of inflammatory breast cancer swelling, pain, redness and itching with nipple inversion is present.
Breast Self Examination
(i) Lie down and place your right arm behind your head. This is because while lying down, the breast tissue spreads evenly over the chest wall and it is as thin as possible, making it much easier to feel all the breast tissue.
(ii) Use the finger pads of the three middle fingers on your left hand to feel for lumps in the right breast. Use overlapping small circular motions of the finger pads to feel the breast tissue.
(iii) Three different levels of pressure to feel all the breast tissue. Light pressure is needed to feel the tissue closest to the skin, medium pressure to feel a little deeper, and firm pressure to feel the tissue closest to the chest and ribs. A firm ridge in the lower curve of each breast is normal. Use each pressure to feel the breast tissue before moving on to the next spot.
(iv) Move around the breast in up and down pattern starting at an imaginary line drawn straight down from the underarm and moving across the breast to the middle of the chest bone. Be sure to check the entire breast area going down until you feel only ribs and up to the neck or collar bone .
(v) Repeat the exam on the left breast using the finger pads of the right hand. While standing in front of a mirror with the hands pressing firmly down on your hips, look at the breasts for any change of size, shape, contour, or dimpling, or redness or scaliness of the nipple or breast skin.
Ayurvedic Remedies In Breast Cancer
The herbs for breast cancer in ayurveda help to stop the abnormal growth of cells and help regenerate the normal healthy body cells. In later stages of the breast cancer, ayurvedic herbs help to relieve pain and anxiety. These help relieve patient from the unearthly pain and suffering.
Ayurvedic Herbs With Anti Cancer Activity
1.Ashwgandha (Withania somnifera) Ashwgandha is a multiple benefit herb that helps to promote overall well-being of the body and nourishes it with strength and immunity. In breast cancer, Ashwgandha works as an antioxidant, anti stress and enhances the effectiveness of radiation therapy.
2.Giloy (Tinospora cordifolia): It is an immunomodulatory herb which helps the immune system to understand the cancer cells and control them. The latest research of Giloy Satva on cancer proved that the effects were similar or better than modern chemotherapy drug doxrubicin.
3. Tulsi (Ocimum tenuiflorum): Tulsi herb has wonderful antioxidant property. It inhibits breast cancer growth and progression by affecting cell proliferation. But it should not be used during radiation treatment since its radioprotective properties could interfere with radiotherapy effectiveness.
4.Curcumin (Curcuma longa): Owing to its rich medicinal properties, Curcumin is a widely used herb in case of cancer. Cancers that depend on the hormone estrogen for survival are more effectively treated with natural herbs. Those that lack receptors for female hormones are far more resistant to treatment. This is where curcumin's value truly lies, because it has increased ability to induce programmed cell death only in breast cancer cells resulting in their rapid destruction.
5. Shallaki (Indian frankincense): Acetyl-11-keto-beta-boswellic acid (AKBA) taken from the gum resin of the shallaki known as salai guggal or Indian frankincense has slowed down the growth of breast cancer cells and made the cancer less likely to spread.
6. Mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana): The mangosteen fruit has a long history of medicinal use in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine. Recently, the compound alpha mangostin taken from the outside layer of the fruit was shown to kill various types of breast cancer cells.
7. Pomegranate (Punica granatum), A group of phytochemicals in pomegranates inhibits the growth of breast cancer. These phytochemicals suppress the growth of estrogen responsive tumors.
8. Sadabahar (Vinca rosea ) The stems and leaves of this plant contain anti cancer alkaloids like vinblastine and vincristine which inhibit the growth of breast cancer cells. Vinca rosea (pink flower ) and Vinca alba (white flower) are two varieties whose roots contain ethanol extracts that have a scavenging effect. They possess significant antioxidant properties as well.
Prevention is Better Than Cure
Death is eminent, we all die one day. One should not be afraid of death. To enjoy the full fruits of life, eat healthy organic foods. Do self breast examination. Exercise regularly. Go for yoga and meditation to balance ups and downs of life. Take good care of oneself, enjoy every moment of life and keep positive attitude.