What is bone cancer?
There are over 30 types of primary bone cancer, despite this form of cancer being rare. The most common types of primary bone cancer include:
Osteosarcoma comprises roughly 35 per cent of all bone cancer cases. This type of bone cancer begins in the cells that grow bone tissue. Osteosarcoma most commonly affects the legs, arms, and pelvis, but can affect any bone in the body.
Chondrosarcoma makes up roughly 30 per cent of all bone cancer cases. Chondrosarcoma often affects the pelvis, ribs, shoulder blades, and upper arms and legs. This form of bone cancer is slow-growing and rarely spreads to other areas of the body.
Ewing’s sarcoma makes up about 15 per cent of all bone cancer cases. Ewing’s sarcoma affects the cells in the soft tissue or bones and multiplies rapidly. The areas most commonly affected are the legs, spine, upper arms, legs, and pelvis.
Secondary bone cancer is more commonly diagnosed, which is where cancer starts in a different part of the body and spreads to the bones.
Bone cancer can begin in any bone and forms when healthy cells become altered and grow out of control, and become a mass called a tumour. These tumours can be cancerous or benign.
A cancerous tumour in the bone is malignant and can grow and spread to other parts of the body. Malignant tumours can damage the cortex of surrounding cells and spread to nearby tissue, and can spread to other parts of the body if the cells reach the bloodstream.
A benign tumour can grow, but will not spread throughout the body. Benign tumours can grow large enough to press on surrounding tissue, weaken bone, and cause fractures.
What causes bone cancer?
The exact cause of bone cancer is not known, but it begins with an error in a cell’s DNA, which causes the cell to grow and divide in an uncontrolled way. There are several factors that may contribute to the development of bone cancer. Some of the possible risk factors are:
- History of Paget’s disease
- Radiation history
- Family history
- Usually seen in children
- History of other forms of cancer in the person
Bone cancer symptoms
The early stages of bone cancer do not tend to present any symptoms, and it is common for no symptoms to be present at all. When bone cancer symptoms are present, they can be vague or mistaken for other conditions. Symptoms occur when a bone tumour grows and presses on the surrounding healthy tissue, which may damage or destroy it. Symptoms include:
- A constant, dull, nagging, or tearing pain
- Swelling of the affected areas
- General pain in the body
- Painful movements
- Bone fracturing when put under little pressure
- Fevers, chills, and night sweats
Some rarer symptoms associated with bone cancer include:
- General unwell feeling
- Weight loss
Ayurveda in helping bone cancer
Ayurveda uses natural herbs to assist in healing the body by enhancing the body’s natural functioning. The herbs used in Ayurveda may help reduce bone cancer by stopping the abnormal growth of cells and aid in the regeneration of normal, healthy cells. During the later stages of bone cancer Ayurvedic herbs may help to relieve anxiety and pain.
Ayurvedic herbs to help with bone cancer
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera)
Ashwagandha is an Ayurvedic herb with multiple benefits. Ashwagandha may help in cases of impotency, constipation, stress, rheumatism, and other chronic ailments. An increase in stress and a decrease in a healthy lifestyle and diet may lead to stress induced disorders. People tend to complain of fatigue, stress, low stamina and endurance power, and memory and bodily weaknesses.
Ashwagandha may play a vital role in such cases, and has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Ashwagandha may help to promote the body’s overall well-being and improve the immune system, while also having the potential to nourish the brain.
Curcumin (Curcuma longa)
Curcumin is widely used in Ayurvedic medicine in cases of cancer, and may be very helpful. The antioxidants present in curcumin may help to reduce the number of free radicals in the body to improve health and immunity. Curcumin has some antidiabetic properties, and may be used to relieve liver and digestive related diseases. The herb’s anti-inflammatory properties may also be used for various infections, allergies, and inflammations. Curcumin is also used in cosmetics due to the skin benefits.
Coral (Parval pishti)
Coral is used in Ayurvedic medicine as it contains a pure form of calcium. Coral is derived from the red coral roots, and may help in the formation of strong bones, which can make it effective in cases of osteoporosis and bone cancer.
Agate (Akki pishti)
Agate is a natural store of calcium, and may be used as a heart tonic. Agate’s natural source of calcium may be used to help maintain normal muscle function. It can be used in cases of osteoporosis, bone cancer, and other low calcium conditions.
Pearl (Mukta pishti)
This product is formed from the powdered form of pearl. Pearl has a cooling effect that may help to rejuvenate the body with its soothing effects. Pearl is a very rich source of calcium and may be effective in helping osteoporosis, bone cancer, gastritis, chronic blood pressure, diarrhoea, bleeding disorders, and burning sensations.
Giloy may help to improve the body’s immunity naturally and may help to manage calcium deficiency.
Guggul (Commiphora mukul)
Guggul may help in revitalising cells due to its rejuvenating properties. It is used in health tonics due to its purifying and lipid-regulating properties, and may be helpful for those with low haemoglobin and anaemia. Guggul may be helpful in treating a variety of conditions.
Guggul may indirectly protect the heart from plaque build-up on the artery wall, and have an effect on triglyceride and cholesterol levels. This property may help with the prevention of cholesterol oxidation and control hardening of the arteries. Guggul may also be used to help with conditions related to an underactive thyroid and promote metabolism.
For a natural way to aid treatment of bone cancer, make an appointment at our clinic.
What is Panchakarma?
Panchakarma is a Sanskrit word meaning ‘five treatments’ or ‘five actions’. Panchakarma is used to treat the root cause of a problem and aids in balancing the body’s fundamental energies (tridosha). This method may be used to help maintain overall good health as well as aid in easing disease.
It is advised to undergo Panchakarma on a seasonal basis to help improve digestion, metabolic process, and cleanse the body.
Panchakarma is made up of five steps:
Vamana (medicated vomiting)
Vamana is used to remove any of the body’s five elements (doshas) that have been impaired in the upper part of the body. A herbal emetic substance is used to induce vomiting with the purpose of eliminating impaired kapha and pitta doshas.
Virechana (medicated purgation)
Virechana is the downward elimination of impaired doshas or waste products. This treatment aims to expel impaired doshas from the stomach, small intestine, liver, and gallbladder to the gastrointestinal tract for eventual expulsion.
Vasti/Basti (medicated enema)
Basti is the main treatment used for vata disorders, however, can also be used to treat other dosha disorders as well. Many different herbs and other substances can be used to make a Basti such as milk, honey, oil, broth, salt, herbal paste, and many others.
Basti can come in two parts:
- Niruha or Asthapan vasti – also known as a decoction or cleansing enema
- Anuvasana or Sneha vasti – meaning ‘that which remains inside the body for a long time without causing harm’, and mostly consists of oil
Nasya Karma (nasal medication)
Nasya is a process used to clear the head and neck region by administering medications through the nostrils. This process may aid in the prevention of ear, nose, throat diseases, and may treat hair loss or greying hair. Nasya controls all the doshas of the head and may affect the senses and motor organs in the head.
What are the benefits of panchakarma?
The benefits of panchakarma include:
- Better functionality of digestive process
- Restoration and maintenance of health
- Improvement in functionality of sense organs
- Improved skin appearance
- Increased stamina
Panchakarma may aid in boosting the body’s rejuvenation process and immunity. Please contact our Melbourne clinic on (03) 9794 8546 for more information or to set up an appointment.