Role of Ayurveda before, during and after chemotherapy - Dr. Pratibha Shah
Pratibha Shah, BAMS, MD-Ayurveda, MPH, RAS holds a Masters degree in Ayurveda. She has been traditionally trained in India and has been practicing Ayurveda for more than 20 yrs. She was working as Chief Medical Officer with the Central Government of India, before moving to US in 2004. Presently, she is on the Board of several leading Ayurvedic organizations in USA and is working hard towards promotion, propagation as well as integration of Ayurveda with mainstream medicine, globally. She writes articles and columns on Ayurveda for various newspapers and e-magazines, and is an editor with Light on Ayurveda Journal. She has been an invited speaker at many conferences and events – the most recent being an event at the White House. Besides her busy clinical practice, she also conducts workshops and educational events all year round, across US. Her other qualifications include a Masters in Public Health from Boston University, Level 1 Reiki and Level 2 Pranic Healing.
Role of Ayurveda before, during and after chemotherapy
According to the WHO, cancer is the leading cause of death worldwide, accounting for 7.6 million deaths in 2008. There have been some breakthroughs in the management of cancer but despite all the advances in medical science, a cure is nowhere in sight.
Chemotherapy is an important part of current cancer management. However chemotherapy can cause acute, chronic or permanent side effects, ranging from pain, gastric issues, mouth sores, hair loss and others. They not only cause discomfort but can also cause serious illness and even death. Additionally, certain side effects may prevent doctors from delivering the prescribed dose of chemotherapy at the specific time and schedule of the treatment plan. Ayurvedic preventive and therapeutics principles can be successfully applied as adjunct therapy for better outcomes for chemotherapy as well as for reducing the undesired post chemo effects on the body. Protocols from this ancient holistic science can also be used to prepare the body physiologically and mentally before starting chemo.
Conclusion: This paper will talk about some of these strategies connecting them with classical Ayurvedic principles and/or with evidence from existing studies.