If you’re wondering why I’m writing on cancer in quick succession, it’s because the seminar on cancer that I attended recently was excellent and I want to share with you a couple of useful things.
Apart from the usual medical approach to cancer treatment, it was amazing to learn about holistic therapies that promote healing of cancer. Hypnotherapy impressed me. Vidya Ramaswamy, a psychologist, and her team use hypnotherapy to promote cancer healing. According to this form of treatment, emotions in the sub-conscious mind can sometimes deter the healing process. Dealing with these emotions through hypnosis helps in cancer care much better.
Nilima and Vijay Bhat, organisers of this seminar, have a website www.cancerawakens.com This website is a guide to various approaches to cancer. This couple also coaches people on how to deal with cancer, and so on.
A relative of mine was recently diagnosed of breast cancer. Apart from obesity, there were no known risk factors. While discussing her illness with an oncologist friend of mine, I was shocked to hear that this oncologist sees about 30 new cases of cancer every month! Can you imagine the number of cancer cases in Bangalore and India each year?
According to statistics, one out of every 20 women in India is likely to develop breast cancer. This is more prevalent in urban women than rural women. Risks for breast cancer include gender (women), age over 40, family history, early puberty or late menopause, prolonged use of contraceptives or hormone therapies, excess weight, high fat diet and less physical activity.
The good news is that if detected early, the chances of cure are higher. Self breast examination plays a very important role in early detection. Examine your breasts every month, and get them clinically examined by your gynaecologist at least once every 3 years.
You can get more details on breast cancer on this website – www.breastcancerindia.net
Last evening was one of the most interesting book launches I have attended in the recent past. Vidya Virkar, owner of Strand Book Stall, and Virendar Razdan, GM of ITC Windsor Hotel joined hands to organise the launch of a unique book called “My Cancer Is Me” written by Nilima & Vijay Bhat. Vijay is a cancer survivor. He was first detected with colon cancer in 2001 and has survived the dreaded disease, with grace and dignity. His wife Nilima has gone through the journey helping her husband in every possible way. Excerpts were read from the book after it was launched by Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw. An interesting panel consisting of a surgical oncologist, an ayurvedic physician, a Tibetan medicine specialist and a mind-body healer talked about how alternate therapies can offer supportive treatment to heal the body (and mind) while the mainstream medicine (with its limitations) treats the cancer patient. With anecdotes and simple advise, the panelists made the evening lively.
Points that made an impact –
Although the book is an experiential documentation, I think it would be useful for all those who are afflicted with cancer and also their friends and family. I was happy to hear all the experts mention about healthy eating as part of the healing process. After all, as Kalpana Kar concluded in the evening, “We are what we eat”!
A recent news item said that Samoa Air will charge the passengers according to their weight. It’s the first airline to do so. Although, not many people across the globe fly this airline, perhaps there’s a message in this decision – you’re better off with less weight.
Talking about weight, when was the last time you weighed yourself on a weighing machine? If you know your weight in kg and your height in meters, apply this formula to calculate your Body Mass Index (BMI) – weight (in kg) / height (in meters squared). If your BMI falls within 23, your weight is normal. If your BMI is above 23, you are overweight and need to reduce. Excess weight increases the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, adult diabetes, some types of cancer, osteoarthritis, and many other health problems.
Check your weight at least once a month and maintain it within the normal range.
Yesterday I received an invitation to attend a vegan cookery-cum-lunch session being held for a charitable cause. Is it fashionable or healthy to be a vegan? It’s certainly a healthy trend but if it has to be fashionable to be healthy, so be it.
A vegan is one who avoids all animal products – clothes, foods, accessories, furnishings, etc. I’m not sure how many people in this world or in India are completely vegan, but I know a lot of people are followers of vegan food habits.
A vegan diet eliminates all animal foods – meat, poultry, fish, egg, dairy, animal fats and sometimes even yeast. So many non-vegetarians and vegetarians who take dairy products in their diet wonder if a vegan can be well nourished. Fortunately, vegans do get all the nutrients from a variety of plant foods like cereals, pulses, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, herbs and spices. The only nutrient lacking in a vegan diet is vitamin B12. This can be obtained thru supplements. A vegan’s diet can be very healthy, if all the foods are taken in the right proportion. Studies have shown that vegans who eat right have lesser chance of getting lifestyle-related diseases like adult diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, cancer, etc. It’s also easier to shed weight with this diet.
Try it sometime for a few days and you might feel the difference.