The word "cancer" comes from the latin "carcinoma" meaning crab. It is the most dreaded disease and refers to all malignant tumors caused by the abnormal growth of a body cell or group of cells. It is today the second largest killer in the world next only to heart ailments. The term covers more than 200 diseases.
The majority of cancers occur in the age group 50-60. Sex does not affect the incidence of the disease. It, however, affects the site of growth. In men, cancer is usually found in the intestines, the prostate and the lungs. In women, it occurs mostly in the breast tissues, uterus, gall bladder and thyroid.
Symptoms of Cancer are:
The symptoms of cancer vary according to the site of the growth. The American Cancer Society has prescribed seven signs or danger signals in general which may indicate the presence of cancer. These are a sore that does not heal, change in bowel or bladder habits, unusual bleeding or discharge, thickening or lump in breast or elsewhere, indigestion or difficulty in swallowing, obvious change in a wart or a mole, and a persistent and nagging cough or hoarseness. Other symptoms may include unexplained loss of weight, particularly in older people, a change in skin colour and changes in the menstrual periods, especially bleeding between periods.
Causes of Cancer:
The prime cause of cancer is not known. Certain cancer causing substances, known as carcinogens, however, increases the chances of getting the disease. About 80 per cent of cancers are caused by environmental factors. Forty per cent of male cancers in India are linked with tobacco, a known cancer causing agent. The consumption of pan, betelnut, tobacco and slaked lime has been linked with cancer of the tongue, lips, mouth and throat. Cigarette and bidi smoking and hukka puffng are linked with lung and throat cancers. Heavy consumption of alcoholic drinks can cause oesophagal, stomach and liver cancers. Occupational exposure to industrial pollutants such as asbestos, nickel, tar, soot and high doses of X-rays can lead to skin and lung cancers and leukaemia. Other factors contributing to cancer are viral infections, trauma, hormone imbalance and malnutrition. Many well-known biologists and naturopaths, however, believe that a faulty diet is the root cause of cancer. Investigations indicate that the cancer incidence is in direct proportion to the amount of animal protein, particularly meat in the diet.
Treatment of Cancer:
The effective treatment of cancer consists of a complete change in diet, besides total elimination of all environmental sources of carcinogens, such as `smoking and carcinogenic chemicals in air, water and food. There has recently been a surge of popular interest in the concept that diet is not just a minor, but rather a major, factor in both the development and the prevention of cancer. The disease can be prevented and even treated by dietary programmes that include `natural foods` and the use of megavitamin supplements.
As a first step, the patient should cleanse the system by thoroughly relieving constipation and making all the organs of elimination the skin, lungs, liver, kidneys and bowels active. Enemas should be used to cleanse the colon. For the first four or five days, the patient should take only juicy fruits like oranges, grapefruits, lemons, apples, peaches, pears, pineapples and tomatoes. Vegetable juices are also useful, especially carrot juice.
After a few days of an exclusive fruit diet, the patient may be given a nourishing alkaline-based diet. It should consist of 100 per cent natural foods, with emphasis on raw fruits and vegetables, particularly carrots, green leafy vegetables, cabbage, onion, garlic, cucumber, asparagus, beets and tomatoes. A minimum requirement of high quality protein, mostly from vegetable sources such as almonds, millet, sesame seeds, sprouted seeds and grains, may be added to the diet.
After the short fast, the patient should have a grape meal every two hours from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. This should be followed for a week or two, even a month or two, in chronic cases of long standing. The patient should begin the grape cure with a small quantity of 30, 60 to 90 grams per meal, gradually increasing this to double the quantity. In course of time, about 250 grams may safely be taken at a meal.
The other useful measures are plenty of rest, complete freedom from worries and mental stress and plenty of fresh, pure air.