Understanding cancer

Understanding cancer

Holistic healing is an effective way to prevent and treat cancer

Learning about cancer and its effect has always been terrifying. When the very thought of a life threat crosses our mind, it fills us with fear, leaving no room for positivity in terms of healing or combating this lifestyle disease which is no longer lethal.

Diagnosis, repeated treatment cycles, increasing side-effects, possible chances of relapse, the survival period, care to be taken post cure and palliative healthcare can be nerve-racking for the patients, impacting their mental peace and life at a macro level.

The fear of understanding the plausible causes for the disease takes a back seat when the disease is diagnosed. We always tend to turn a blind eye towards the root cause of the condition. Hence, it is important to understand cancer holistically by observing the symptoms that indicate a weak immune system, as cancer never attacks the body with a robust and active immune system.

Today, we live fast-paced lives where we often compromise on boosting our immunity. The food we consume, the contaminated water, pollution in the air, sedentary lifestyle, the rise in obesity, excessive smoking or high exposure to it and emotional stress that we undergo, are all risk factors for cancer. When we are emotionally drained, we tend to get sick more often and fall prey to diseases like diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular ailments.


There have been a plethora of researches conducted on the treatment and root cause of cancer. All these studies show that there is a deep connection between the root cause of the disease and traumatic incidents. Cancer is considered a multi-factorial disease that requires healing or prevention with a holistic approach.

Conventional medication and chemotherapy should be accompanied with the right kind of nutrition, physical regimes and quality sleep, as these are integral to the process of healing. One of the most important measures to tackle this disease is understanding and gauging the emotional and mental stress, as they are catastrophic in their own way.

Treating cancer holistically does not mean condemning medical treatment, but instead, it means considering everything right from yoga, pranayama to monitoring stress levels that can help prevent the disease. These lifestyle changes need to be coupled with your medical treatment like chemotherapy and radiotherapy to get you on the road to recovery.

Medicine will only focus on the symptoms and not result in positive developments in the body. You need to get an optimum combination of medicine and lifestyle change along with good physical, spiritual and intellectual healing. The body is made of trillions of cells, hence, just limiting it to one line of treatment is never going to cure the ailment completely. Embracing the practice of integrative medicine is definitely making a difference to people’s health.

Instead of focusing on solutions to treat the disease, we must lay emphasis on the methods of prevention. In the holistic method, we understand the right way to look at our current lifestyle, the way we live in line with nature in terms of sleep, nutrition, movement and motions. These modifications play a major role in preventing the disease and in its diagnosis.

Battling side-effects

Holistic therapies and nutrition are the key factors while managing the side-effects caused by radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Chemo and radiation are just attempts to kill cancerous cells. But they destroy the patient’s immunity. With weakened immunity, the healing process becomes difficult and the possibility of relapse mounts. These processes wipe out the necessary class A proteins, minerals, and vitamins that are essential to building a healthy body. Hence due to the heavy dose of medication, the patient suffers from hair fall and constipation. A patient undergoing chemo and radio has to make necessary lifestyle changes and should undergo a change in sleep patterns that will help put back the depleted nutrients into the body and to guard the body’s immune levels.

Building immunity

During cancer treatments, the immune system gets compromised. Hence, we are constantly looking at building the immune system and fortifying the gut. Chemo and radiation can wipe out microbiome which is required for digestion and assimilation. We have to make sure that our bodies are not too acidic and we have a clean gut to enable the five elementary body organs like liver, lungs, kidney, colon and skin to function efficiently. Even if one of them gets blocked, there is a risk of inflammation which is the biggest breeding ground for cancer cells.

Averting a relapse

The only thing that can prevent cancer from coming back is a strong and robust immune system. Opting for conventional treatments without bringing about a lifestyle change, will increase the chance of a relapse because you have not understood the root cause of the ailment. There is a terrain in the human body that supports the growth and spread of cancer cells, we need to change that terrain by adapting to the right kind of lifestyle modification.

Dealing with cancer holistically is all about managing the collateral damages and side-effects of the treatment and boosting immunity, which can really enhance the intelligence of the human body to protect, prevent and to heal.

(The author is an expert in integrative and lifestyle medicine)