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Clinical Protocols & Treatments in Ayurveda (Vol 3) Ayurveda is a beautifully complete system of traditional medicine. It does not rely on others systems, modern or ancient, to understand treatment protocols or clinical treatments. Nor does it rely on modern science for therapeutics in general. [ Read more ] » All our books
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Home page > Vaidya Atreya Smith > Cancer & Chemotherapy

Cancer & Chemotherapy

Cancer & Chemotherapy - choices to make

This a letter I wrote to a very old friend with whom I am very close concerning her choice on how to follow up her treatment of breast cancer. She had surgery and six weeks of radiation therapy. The doctors would like her to now follow up with chemotherapy. She lives in the USA.

Dear ....,
I understand that the second opinion on your health was to do chemo. As you know the doctors need to follow the protocols that are set up for each situation. The type of cancer you had was aggressive so it requires a protocol that includes chemo. The doctor cannot really say otherwise even if he / she would like too or they are liable. You know this already but it is very important to put into account on whatever you decide to do.

I think this link says it all - most doctors would not choose the therapy they are prescribing - http://www.naturalnews.com/036054_chemotherapy_physicians_toxicity.html

There are many interesting things in this article above - like the doctors are prohibited by the FDA to recommend diet, food supplements and herbs to patients. Why?

I sent you this link already from a cancer research scientist on the role of the cells environment, bacterial infections and inflammation promoting cancer - http://www.edge.org/response-detail/23735
This is same view as in Ayurveda. We treat the body and help re-establish normal metabolic functions. We also use herbs that reduce or remove inflammatory conditions - the most famous of which is Guduchi.

I recommended that you take Guduchi a few months ago - here are studies showing why you should continue to take it: http://bpb.pharm.or.jp/bpb/200603/b03_0460.pdf - shows anti-cancer properties

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9505214

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0367326X98000173

If you have friend that can get into PubMed they can find many more studies about this plant. If I had cancer I would start a vegan diet and take 6 grams per day of this herb Guduchi. I would also use wheat grass juice or barley grass juice to give more "alive" nutrients to my body and help remove the toxic chemicals I have taken or received. Small doses (300 to 500 mg per day) of spirulina are also helpful to remove the chemical toxins left in your body. Spirulina is best taken in the morning for six to twelve months.

The bottom line is that we all want you to live and stay alive. Choosing chemo now when your body is tired and weak is not the best timing even if you are positive about it. It makes more sense to wait until your body is strong and has good energy levels before choosing that kind of therapy. The question of choosing to do chemo or not is yours alone with your husband & daughter having the second say in the matter as they are the closest to you. Ultimately no-one can choose it for you. I may say personally that I would never choose chemo, but do I really know this for a fact unless I am confronted with the choice? No, I don’t think I do. With my patients I present the facts I have about any problems and / or treatments and let them decide.

I know you have not asked for my advice, but it would be to wait six months before doing chemo if you decide to do it. This logic is based on strengthening your immune system and overall health before going through a draining treatment like chemo. Personally I am not pro chemo, but if you should fall into the 2% to 5% of people that it helps I would be happy if you did it to save your life.

The last thing in this discussion of cancer is the fear factor that doctors use on patients to get them to comply with the treatment recommendations. From my perspective a therapy must not have merit if the doctor needs to resort to menacing the patient with fear in order to get the patient motivated to follow the treatment. We all have cancer cells in our body, sometimes they are even "aggressive" types, mostly not. Yet, the body is able to control them through normal immune function. Telling a patient that if you "have one cell of cancer" left you can die is really a heavy psychological manipulation. I saw a study this last week that said it takes women three years to recover from the shock and stress of being miss-diagnosed for breast cancer - what to say of the fear tactic to tell your patient you are going to die because "there is one cell left in the body"? I personally think this is criminal. You are being manipulated by fear (as if there was not enough fear already!) by the medical system. I think you need to take this into account before making any decision on what treatments to follow up with.

Most of all I would just like to say that I love you and want you to live, so finally whatever you choose to do I support.

Love Atreya

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- Ayurvedic Medicine for Westerners series of textbooks

Application of Ayurvedic Treatments Throughout Life (Volume 5)

Dravyaguna for Westerners (Volume 4)

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Pathology & Diagnosis in Ayurveda (Volume 2)

Anatomy and Physiology in Ayurveda (Volume 1)

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