Cancers arising in the colon and rectum are called colon cancer or colorectal cancer, and are usually believed to have developed from polyps. Colon cancer is very common in the Western world but is rare in Asia and Africa. Diets high in fat are believed to predispose humans to colorectal cancer whereas diets high in vegetable and high fiber foods help reduce the risk. Ulcerative colitis highly increases the risk for colon cancer. Genetic factors are also an important risk factor in this disease. Symptoms include fatigue, weakness, anemia, breathlessness, change in bowel habits, narrow stools, diarrhea or constipation, red or dark blood in stool, weight loss, abdominal pain, cramps and bloating. Surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy are the standard line of treatment for this condition.
The Ayurvedic treatment of colorectal cancer is aimed at treating the main cancer, preventing or reducing its spread to other parts of the body and improving overall survival. Medicines used in this condition are: Arogya-Vardhini, Kanchnaar-Guggulu, Yograj-Guggulu, Triphala-Guggulu, Panch-Tikta-Ghrut-Guggulu, Punarnavadi-Guggulu, Mahamanjishthadi-Qadha, Panchamrut-Parpati and Saarivasav. Medicines which act on the 'Ratka' and 'Mansa' dhatus (tissues) are useful in this condition. These include medicines like Patol (Tricosanthe dioica), Kutki (Picrorrhiza kurroa), Saariva (Hemidesmus indicus), Patha (Cissampelos pareira), Musta (Cyperus rotundus), Triphala (Three fruits), Nimba (Azadirachta indica) and Kutaj (Holarrhina antidysentrica). Manjishtha (Rubia cordifolia), Triphala (Three fruits), Punarnava (Boerhaavia diffusa) and Dashmool (Ten roots) are also very useful in this condition.
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera), Yashtimadhuk (Glycerrhiza glabra), Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum), Bhrungraj (Eclipta alba), Suvarna-Malini-Vasant, Suvarna-Parpati, Abhrak Bhasma and Heerak Bhasma are used to improve the immune status of the body.
Treatment needs to be taken for prolonged period to get good results. In combination with modern therapy, Ayurvedic treatment can reduce the tumor size, prevent or reduce the side effects of radiation and chemotherapy, improve the immune status of the body and prolong survival. All patients need to be under the regular care and supervision of an Oncology team.