Published On: Thu, Sep 12th, 2013

Herbal Approaches in the Management of Cancer

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means the abnormal, uncontrolled and rapid growth of the cells. Cancer should be called as a symptom rather than a . Cancer cells are malignant in nature.

Main sites of metastases for some common cance...

Main sites of metastases for some common cancer types. Primary are denoted by “…cancer” and their main sites are denoted by “…metastases”. List of included entries and references is found on main image page in Commons: (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Cancer cells differ from the normal biological cells in two ways:

  1. Cancer cells grow continuously as long as the host is alive and form new cancer cells by multiplying rapidly. The normal cells have some cycle and they decay after their cycle is completed.
  2. Cancer cells undergo “metastasis”. Metastasis means the transfer of cells from one region to other region without any connection. That means the malignant cells move from one part to other part and spreads the cells in the body. Ordinary cells does not undergo metastasis. These normal cells are localised in any organ.

Types of Cancer:

There are more than 100 types of cancer. But broadly speaking, there are two types of cancer namely

  • Carcinoma: Malignant new growth is made up of epithelial cells and spread to surrounding tissues and give rise to metastasis.
  • Sarcoma: Sarcoma is the cancer arising in the bone, connective tissue or muscle. These tissues are mainly derived in the embryo from the mesoderm and lymphatic blood vessels.

Treatment of cancer:

There are four methods to treat the cancer

  1. Surgery: Surgery cannot be used when there is metastasis.
  2. Radiation therapy: Radiation affects the cancerous as well as normal cells equally.
  3. Chemotherapy: This therapy has some side effects.
  4. Immunotherapy: It is yet to be found, research is being conducted at present and it is in infant stage. It is to be carried out in addition to chemotherapy. In this method, the manipulation is immune response is done.

In chemotherapy, the basic factor in inhibition and cure of cancer cells lies in the ability of drugs or chemotherapeutic agents to kill the cancer cells. These drugs does not have the capacity to repair or convert a cancer cell to a normal one. The exact cause of growth of cancer cells is not known.

Symptoms of Cancer:

  • Any sore which does not heal
  • A lump or thickening in the breast or elsewhere
  • Any change in the wart or mole
  • Unusual bleeding or discharge
  • Persistant indigestion
  • Difficulty in swallowing
  • Persistant hoarseness or
  • Any change in normal bowel habits

Causes of Cancer:

The main cause may be due to chewing of tobacco or tobacco products, pollution and exposure to radiations. Cytotoxic drugs have been prepared but they are having side effects. Some plants can be used effectively for treating the cancer.

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