Cancer in any form is dreadful. Not only because the word itself terrorizes our mind, the visuals we recall are too scary. Once it sets in, it is very difficult to get rid of it in totality and one has to surrender to whatever treatment methods are available. Injuries to nearby organs, side-effects, trauma for the body and mind as a whole plus social stigma are some realities that stay with the victim for the rest of his/her life.

I can suggest three mantras: One, prevention is better than cure. Two, either you change your lifestyle, or make some necessary additions to counter the cancer threat. Three, try alternative medicines or therapies.

WHY GIVE OPTION ON LIFESTYLE?

If you belong to the western world, (as per Wikipedia) chances are that you are more susceptible of catching this type of cancer. But you cannot move to the other part of the world for only this reason. Moreover, how would you know for sure that you could be a victim? Only for this reason I mentioned that either you change your lifestyle or...

IS CHANGING LIFESTYLE EASY?

Definitely not. We are all part of a society and have our stated norms of behavior, work culture, food (solids & liquids) consumption pattern, ways of recreation are all set. To some extent we can change our habits like avoiding late nights, getting full sleep, exercising etc. But today's expenses need extra work both physically and mentally. Somewhere we have to compromise which we cannot compensate with something beneficial.

A fully nourishing lunch induces sleep so some people either don't have proper lunch, or combine it with coffee and both are harmful. Work pressure forces to go either for smoking, extra cups of coffee, or for over the counter pills as they are easily accessible. Even these have harmful after-effects.

WHAT COULD BE DONE HERE?

Remember Edison, who invented the Electric Bulb? He slept for just four hours and always got up refreshed. Develop a habit of sleeping less. Easier said than done, may be your answer. To counter I present two incidents.

1. I was working on a project and could not sleep for 3 days. The fourth evening, somehow I had to accompany my boss to an overnight musical concert. When we departed, I was totally refreshed and went back to office.

2. Many of my hostel friends developed the habit of sleeping at three in the morning to get up by seven. The same pattern holds good twenty years after passing out.

It is all in the mind. You can train it the way you want. Think about the soldiers at war zone or the police personnel who hardly get time to sleep. When these people can manage why can't you? Try meditation, even a 30-minute trance is enough to compensate for a full night's sleep.

HELP YOUR BOWEL DISCHARGE EASILY.

The most common cause for rectal/colon/anus cancer is constipation. Piles is the first reaction. Eat veggies or fruits that have roughage e.g. Carrot, Radish, Lettuce. Those veggies that do not dissolve in full. Eat fruits whole, as the skin acts as roughage. If not allergic to Banana, it acts as a good bowel cleaner.

Drink plenty of plain water (not disguised as beer or canned juices). Avoid the lift when possible.

Get the wonder product "Isabgol" which is neither a fruit nor vegetable nor a medicine. It is the husk of the Psyllium plant seed. This husk absorbs water, becomes slippery and aids bowel to discharge without pressure. You can consume this either with water, curd, fruit juice or sprinkle liberal amounts in any dish as it is tasteless.

TRY ALTERNATE THERAPIES

No system of medicine is foolproof. Doctors do not admit the fallacies. For example, Homoeopathy has no medicine for high blood pressure but works wonders for skin diseases. Colitis, skin ulcers, burns & wounds are treated in no time. It has no side-effects as well. Ready made mixtures are available over the counter for hundreds of diseases that you can try.

As always, there are no shortcuts to success. Trial and error should be your mantra. Find out what suits your body, your taste and let your mind guide you. After all if you catch the dreaded disease, your mind suffers the most.

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