Ayurveda - What is Breast Cancer - An Aurvedic Perspective
By Dr Partap Chauhan
Breast cancer, cancer arising in breast tissue, is simply a group of abnormal cells that have abnormal growth patterns. The cells in your body follow a growth cycle in which it grows and rests. This growth period is controlled by genes present in each cell's nucleus. When these genes develop an abnormality, the growth of the cells go out of control leading to cancer.
If this abnormal growth happens in the cells in your breasts, it leads to breast cancer. Here are some facts you should know:
Although breast cancer is primarily a disease of women, about 1% of breast cancers occur in men. Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in women and is the second leading cause of death by cancer in women, the first being lung cancer.
Knowing your breast
The breasts are made of fat, glands, and connective (fibrous) tissue. The breast has several lobes, which are divided into lobules and end in the milk glands. Tiny ducts run from the many tiny glands, connect together, and end in the nipple. These ducts are where 80% of breast cancers occur. This condition is called infiltrating ductal cancer.
Cancer developing in the lobules is termed infiltrating lobular cancer. About 10-15% of breast cancers are of this type. Another type of breast cancer is inflammatory breast cancer.
Stages of Breast Cancer
Precancerous: The precancerous changes in your breast, called in situ (in see-too) changes, is common. At this stage, the changes haven’t spread from where they started.
When these in situ changes occur in the ducts, they are called ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS). When they happen in the lobules, they are called lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS). DCIS is frequently diagnosed on routine mammography.
Metastasis stages are the dangerous stage when the cancer has spread from the place where it started into other tissues.
The most common place for breast cancer to metastasize, or spread, is into the lymph nodes under the arm or above the collarbone on the same side as the cancer. It can also spread to the brain, bones and liver.
How did it happen?
The first thing you do when you learn that you have Breast Cancer is to desperately try to figure out how it could have happened. You wonder whether it was your routine, food, lack of exercise, stress etc. that led to it. Don’t be too hard on yourself. There is nothing you could have done to prevent it.
You’ll be surprised how many healthy people develop Breast Cancer. This is because, cancer is always caused by a genetic abnormality.
Only 5–10% of cancers are inherited from your mother or father. The rest 90% of breast cancers are due to genetic abnormalities that happen as a result of the aging process and life in general.
What you can do is minimize the chances of Breast Cancer if you already do not have it. Keep you body as healthy as possible by eating a balanced diet, not smoking, minimizing stress, and exercising regularly. Do not feel guilty, it can happen to anybody.
For more information on Ayurveda and it benefits please contact:
Kaviraj Partap S. Chauhan (Cyber Vaidya)
Director, Jiva Ayurvedic Research Institute