Cancer is defined in modern conventional medicine as cells that grow uncontrollably and do not die, as normal cells do. As this is not normal it is considered a mutation. That which does not conform to the norm causes disturbances and in Ayurveda, this is referred to as a Dosha.

Normal cells in the body follow a regulated path or order of growth, division, and death.

This is what modern medicine seems to have understood lately. Hindu Dharma discusses the three functions of creation, preservation, and destruction or the concept of Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva who oversee these functions.  This concept applies to both the microcosm and the macrocosm, as they are not dissimilar.


What causes natural bodily functions including cells to behave abnormally?

In Ayurveda, we understand the existence of an inherent disturbance from birth. This disturbance can be mild to severe, depending on the individual’s Karma. As stated earlier, this disturbance in Ayurveda is termed a Dosha.

One who has a mild Dosha may or may not experience any symptoms of disturbances or diseases but the potentials are there. Due to this potential, one with a mild Dosha may succumb to a state of severe disturbance and begin to experience symptoms of disease of any kind for a number of reasons and conditions.

Generally incorrect or inappropriate Lifestyle patterns or habits are the cause. Modern medicine seems to agree with this reasoning as well of late. Diet, exercise, sleep, attitude, climate, environment, relationship and any and everything we become involved in must be correct and appropriate for the individual.

Breakaway or rebel cells are classified as Cancer cells. What causes this breakaway?

I would see this as a ‘civil war’ within! The war that goes on perpetually and in eternity, is due to the concept of duality or opposing forces. Two opposing forces continuously pulling in the opposite direction, will eventually mean that something has got to give and one has to become the champion or the winner.


What are the two opposing forces that Yoga discusses?

The Ego and the Self. The Self is Real but the Ego is a reflection of the Self. The Ego considers itself a separate entity and therefore continuously fights to retain its existence. This is where the human psyche suffers. Although the Self eventually wins the war there would have been much confusion caused and there will be splits. This splitting is Cancer.

Cells are created and then they have some functions or duties and when these are done, the cells then die. This is considered normal. But when the cells do not die but continue to grow and become lumps and tumors, they block and disturb the regular functions of the bodily systems, choking the organs and tissues in that vicinity. These cells are passed and moved to other parts of the body through the blood etc thereby causing these mutated cells to grow, expand and divide to other parts of the body.


There are many types of Cancer but they are generally seen as the same thing in Ayurveda.

The very word Cancer spells fear and terror in many people. This can mainly be attributed to the medical fraternity, which has created so much mystery and fear amongst people. The approach to treating cancer and all dis-eases according to Ayurveda starts with determining the root cause rather than the symptoms.

As far as Ayurveda is concerned, irrespective of the nature of the disease, the primary or root cause has to be identified, diagnosed and the correction and restoration process implemented as necessary. The root cause of any disturbance or symptoms is that ‘Dosha’ we mentioned earlier.

This understanding is the Key, provided that the actual aggravated or disturbed Dosha is identified correctly. If this were not correct, then the treatment process would only further aggravate the Cancer thus risking it spreading further and deeper.


Our greatest of enemies is not the disease itself but FEAR.

Fear kills long before that disease can take hold. The only way this can be corrected is to ensure one gets the correct information and understands the nature of the Cancer in relation to our body and mind. Removing all sources of fear should be the first step towards correction and restoration process.


Remember that prevention is better than cure and this is what Ayurveda advocates for all of us.

Establishing a correct lifestyle from as early as possible is the way to take control of our life and its disturbances. Again Lifestyle here means any and everything that we do and become involved in.

This is no guarantee that one would be disease free for the rest of their life but it surely will allow one to almost immediately realise negative changes and disturbances and so allow for corrective measures to be taken well before any disturbance can take hold of our tissues and organs etc.


Cancer cells grow and ‘choke the life and essence’ out of tissue and organs, eventually destroying them.

This is not a natural process of death or dying. Animals in the wild do not suffer from any such diseases but only from calamities of nature or something started by humans, like polluting of the waters and the air and fires from deforesting etc.

Going back to live in nature and naturally is the only way we can avoid such disease and live a free and peaceful life. Natural living does not mean living in the jungle or the forest or the wild. It means we should all make an effort to live the life that most suits our individual constitution as we are all born different and therefore need to create our own set of rules and laws to govern our life.

We have written a second article titled “The Ayurvedic Approach to Treating Cancer” which follows on from this article.