Ayurvedic cure

A proposal to set up ayurvedic centres in hospitals across the country to treat cancer patients is on the anvil

Published: Monday 30 April 2001

the Union ministry of health and family welfare along with the department of Indian systems of medicine (ism) is planning to set up ayurvedic centres in various hospitals across the country to treat cancer patients. An expert panel will be soon constituted, which will finalise the proposal and list the centres that can avail this facility. "One has to look at traditional medicine for a parallel approach to cure cancer. Awareness about this is still missing," says Shailaja Chandra, secretary of ism .

One of the main benefits of ayurvedic treatment will be a large cut in the treatment costs. "For example, chemotherapy treatment for promylocytic leukaemia patients can cost between Rs 2-3 lakh, while ayurvedic treatment costs just Rs 30,000," says Prem Kishore, a consultant with ism.

"Allopathic treatment believes in evidence-based medicine -- something that does not hold true for ayurveda. While we cannot put a stamp on the claims of ayurveda to cure cancer, we do have a few patients who have survived for many years because of ayurvedic treatment," said Purvish Parikh, additional professor of oncology at the Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai. As Vaid Balendu Prakash, director of the Vaid Chandra Prakash Cancer Research Foundation, Dehradun puts it: "It is not that every patient will be miraculously cured by this treatment, but in most cases it definitely improves the quality of life. In many cases, we have successfully treated patients of leukaemia."

According to a report of the Union ministry of health and family welfare, there are around 24 lakh cancer patients in India. Experts, however, believe that the figure could be much more because the data is based only on the cancer registries in five centres across the country.

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