• There are many diseases that torment and victimize mankind but non-can compare in importance with Cancer. It is undoubtedly the most terror striking of all ills and inflicts unspeakable aging on the sufferer.
  • One of the reasons for this horror of Cancer is its frequency and constant increase, or at least apparent increase, added to our incomplete knowledge of its cause and cure.
  • Statistics tells us that out of an estimated total of 50 millions annual deaths in the world more than 5 millions are attributed to cancer (WHO 1979).
  • All these skills available of Physicians and Surgeons have not yet been able to stop this march of death.
  • Results of currently available medical treatments viz. surgery, radio therapy, chemo therapy are variable and need to be improved; only about 1/3 cancer patients respond well such treatments.
  •  Another 1/3 show only partial remission for few months before the cancer recurs again. The remaining 1/3 of the patients go down hill no matter what you do.
  • Despite recent advances in securing remission and possible cure: Cancer has remained a disease equated with hopelessness, pain, fear and death.

Uses of Ayurveda for Improvement in Cancer Patients Treatment

Patients have common fears, which have been called the “6 Ds”

  1. Dependency on family, spouse and physician
  2. Disfigurement and change in body appearance
  3. Disability
  4. Disruption of inter personal relationship
  5. Discomfort or pain in later stage of illness
  6. Death


  • In the modern medical science number of treatment modalities of cancer has been developed for e.g. – radiotherapy, Chemotherapy, surgical removal but every treatment option has its own limitations and complications as well. Sometimes the complications of above therapies are so severe that continuity of treatment have to be broken.
  • Even the condition of patients sometimes seems to be so severe that therapy cannot be started.
  • Radiation tends to damage cancer cells more than normal cells because cancer cells are rapidly synthesizing DNA, and hence have more targets for radiation. No doubt, some normal cells are also destroyed and as a result side effects occurs.

Side Effects

  • Side effects from radiation are quite predictable. The general side effects most people get during treatment are lethargy and tiredness, loss of appetite, sore mouth and local skin reaction to the area having radiotherapy to (that is why vigilance with skin care as instructed is essential)
  • The local side affects depends on anatomy, i.e. about where the organs are placed in the body. So if someone is having their prostrate irradiated, organs within that area are the rectum and the bladder. So the expected side effects may be urinary problems and bowel problems.
  • Virtually all patients who receive radiotherapy to the head and neck area develop oral complications. Mucositis is not only painful but also can limit adequate nutritional intake and decrease patient’s willingness to continue treatment.
  •  Intra-oral changes include acute Mucositis ( erythema, pseudomembrane covered ulcerations and hyperkeratosis ).
  • Severe mucositis with extensive ulceration may necessitate costly hospitalizations, parenteral nutrition and use of narcotics
  • The radiation changes associated with treatment of the oral cavity include acute skin reactions, or radiation dermatitis, and delayed skin and subcutaneous damage including telangiectasias, fibrosis and edema.
  • Radiation changes in the salivary glands result in abnormal saliva (hypo salivation, xerostomia) and secondarily increased caries and other dental defects.
  • Radiation also directly damages the taste buds in the tongue and results in transient or sometimes permanent loss or alteration of taste.
  • 1. Discomforts

    • Abnormal growth
    • Pain
    • Loss of appetite
    • Anorexia
    • Nausea
    • Vomiting
    • Dysphasia
    • Dysnea
2. Side Effects of Radiotherapy
  • Xerostomia, stomatitis, alopecia, loss of taste, mucosal reactions, salivary reactions, skin reaction, constipation, loss of appetite, dysphagia, dysphonia
  • Role of Ayurveda
  • Ayurveda is rooted in the life and culture of our people and the deep understanding of the foundations of Ayurveda as revealed by our Rishies will provide a strong base for cultural unity of India.
  • Ayurveda relentlessly strive to continuously improve the quality of human life and provide effective and safe treatment for all diseases to suit individual needs.
  • Uniqueness of ayurveda
  • Ayurveda treats not just an organ or a system but treats Body, the Mind & the Soul & hence it adds not only years to Life but Life to years.
  • Holistic approach, conceptual richness regarding Disease and action of drugs, the vast and rich therapeutic armamentarium are the main attractive features of Ayurveda that draws attention of the people from different part of the world.
  •  The increased awareness about side effects and limitations of modern medicines has further contributed this trend.
  • The demand of Ayurveda system of medicine is likely to increase in the years coming forth.
  • The method available in medical science to treat a patient of cancer mainly includes surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy, immune therapy and hormonal therapy etc.
  • Unfortunately none of these methods are considered as the sole reply to the disease, over and above all the known method have got unwelcome side effects and limitations of their use. All these facts have given an impetus to find out some better remedies from Ayurvedic classics.
  • It is necessity of the day to re-evaluate the Ayurvedic claims against the cancer and to re-examine them as per parameters of present modern science and to opine on the justification of the Ayurvedic claims.

Ayurveda can help in cancer patients by improving the quality of life by selecting a group of herbs for eg.

  • v Some herbs which helps in dissolving tumour.
  • v Herbs of Jivaniya varga for increasing the longevity of patients.
  • v The herbs to increase the appetite and nutritional state in cancer cachexia.
  • Certain immunomodulators.

Drugs having the property to regulate the Agni.

  • The main Herbal Medicines may be used
  • * Chitraka * Pippali
  • * Ashwagandha * Ghritkumari
  • * Gomutra * Shatavari
  • * Kanchnar * Varun
  • * Tulsi * Chop chini etc.
  • * Triphala


  • Ayurvedic formulation reduce side effects of radiotherapy
  • Improves immune status of the patients
  • Improves the metabolism at tissue and cellular level.
  • Acts in providing betterment of quality of life of cancer patients.
  • Free from side effects of its own
  • We can conclude that ayurvedic formulation works in better way when started as adjuvant therapy with radiotherapy.
  • We can provide a comparatively higher dose of radiation for successful killing of the cancer cells, and on giving equal dose of radiation patients have to suffer from very low grade side effects.


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