What is ovarian cancer?
Ovarian cancer is cancer that develops in one or both ovaries of a woman. Ovarian cancer is the abnormal and uncontrolled growth of cells that can accumulate into a tumour. The ovaries are made up of three main types of cells, and each type of cell can develop into a different type of tumour:
- Germ cell tumour – begins in cells that produce eggs
- Epithelial tumour – beings in the cells covering the outer surface of the ovary
- Stromal tumour – begin in the structural tissue cells that produce female hormones and hold the ovaries together
The majority of ovarian tumours are non-cancerous and will never spread beyond the ovaries. Benign tumours may be treated by removing the part of the ovaries affected by the tumour.
Malignant or cancerous ovarian tumours can spread to other parts of the body through the lymph nodes, and will need to be treated differently to benign tumours.
What causes ovarian cancer?
The cause of ovarian cancer is not known. There are some factors that can increase the risk of developing ovarian cancer, these include:
- Genetic cause
- Women over the age of 55 are more prone
- Family history
- Menopausal therapies and surgeries
- Personal history of breast cancer
- Women who have never been pregnant
- Early onset of menstruation (under 12 years of age)
- Late onset of menopause
Ovarian cancer symptoms
The symptoms presented by ovarian cancer do not tend to show until late in the process of tumour formation. The usual symptoms are:
- Pain in the pelvic and back area
- Unusual vaginal bleeding
- Shortness of breath
- Constant tired and weak feeling
- Pressure in the pelvic and abdominal area
- Nausea, vomiting, indigestion
- Pain during sex
- Abdominal bloating
- Difficulty eating
- Frequent urination
- Irregular menstruation
How does Ayurveda help treat ovarian cancer?
Ayurveda is an ancient system of Indian medicine that uses herbs and herbal remedies that may naturally enrich the body, improve immunity, and provide strength. The herbs used to help treat ovarian cancer work by stemming the growth of abnormal cells and promoting the regeneration of healthy cells. Herbs may be used in the later stages of ovarian cancer to help relieve anxiety and pain.
Ayurvedic herbs that may support those suffering ovarian cancer
Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus)
Shatavari has been used by Ayurveda for centuries as it may be helpful in cases of gastric and nervous disorders. The herb may also be used to improve female health and the female sexual system by improving libido, confidence, and self-esteem.
Some of the symptoms shatavari may be able to treat in cases of ovarian cancer are stress, decreased interest in sex, and low energy in performing daily activities. This herb may help to improve energy and stamina levels in women with ovarian cancer.
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera)
Ashwagandha is an ancient Ayurvedic herb that may be beneficial when treating ovarian cancer. This herb may be used to relieve stress, fatigue, and low stamina. Ashwagandha may help to promote the overall well-being of the body and improve the immune system. Cases of stress, impotency, rheumatism, and constipation may also benefit from Ashwagandha.
Ashwagandha has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that may help nourish the mind and promote improve brain function.
Giloy may be able to aid in naturally improving the immune system, and help in managing a calcium deficiency in the body. This herb may also be able to maintain homeostasis and help in preventing disease.
Guggul (Commiphora mukul)
Guggul is a highly potent rejuvenating herb. It is used in a number of health tonics and may be able to revitalise and rejuvenate cells. It can be used for those who have haemoglobin or are anaemic. Guggul may be used to treat several different health conditions such as high cholesterol or triglyceride levels.
The properties of Guggul may help to prevent the oxidation of cholesterol and prevent the hardening of the arteries. The herb may also be beneficial in disorders related to hyperthyroidism. Guggul may be able to promote metabolism and aid with weight loss.
Ashoka (Saraka indica)
The bark of the Ashoka tree may be very beneficial in helping menstrual disturbances and regulating the menstrual cycle. This herb may help in relieving menstrual pain, other pain caused by ovarian tumours, and may be used to manage the symptoms of premenstrual tension.
Lodhra (Symplocus racemosa)
The bark of the Lodhra tree may act as an astringent and is mainly used in Ayurveda to treat excessive discharge from the vagina. This herb may also be helpful in the treatment of painful, excessive, and delayed menstruation. Lodhra may be useful in helping to treat many types of cancer, including ovarian cancer.
Make an appointment with our clinic to explore a natural way to help treat ovarian cancer.
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.