Ayurvedic body-type and breast cancer

A recent BBC news article states*:

Girls who are thin at the age of seven are at higher risk of breast cancer after menopause than chubbier counterparts and more vulnerable to a worse type of tumour, according to a Swedish study published on Wednesday.

The surprising conclusion is made by Karolinska Institutet researchers who looked at data from 2,818 Swedish breast cancer patients and 3,111 healthy counterparts.

“Large body type at age seven years was associated with a decreased risk of post-menopausal breast cancer,” said lead researcher Jingmei Li.

I am not trained in ayurvedic cancer treatment, nor do I treat cancer in my practice. However, there are some interesting ayurvedic facts that could be related to the finding of this reasearch.

Vata type people have slim body types, and vata dosha increases naturally after menopause. So if you already have a vata body type, you are more likely to suffer from diseases involving an excess of vata dosha in later life.

Cancer involves all three doshas, including vata. The more difficult to cure tumours probaly involve a higher degree of vata. A tumour is a growth. Its treatment in ayurveda is esentially one of reduction. The tumour needs to be broken down and eliminated from the body. This kinds of treatment is however aggravating to vata. So if vata is greatly involved in the tumour, its cure will be more difficult.

As I said above, I am no expert in cancer management in ayurveda. However, my basic training has taught me that a tumours which is dominated by an excess dispruption of vata dosha will be more likely to be hard, knotty and irregular in shape compared to cancers where vata plays a secondary role.

The other idea that comes to mind is that in vata diseases, the quality of mobility, dispersion, and rapidity are all key symptoms. This might also explain why these more stubborn cancers are harder to cure – if they are dominated by aggravated vata – they might progress more rapidly, or mestastise more rapidly and more virilantly than other cancers, where vata is not the main player.

Food for thought! Well, I doubt if any oncologists with an interest in ayurveda will stumble upon my blog, but who knows!

Probably the best way to reduce your risks of cancer are:

  1. Don’t smoke
  2. Drink in moderation
  3. Eat a mainly plant based diet (see The China Study for example)
  4. Learn to manage stress and live in joy, happiness and love

Cheers, Alex.

* Link to news article

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4 thoughts on “Ayurvedic body-type and breast cancer

  1. This is an eye-opener. I’ve just read through Ayurvedic body-type and breast cancer and was surprised because I’ve been looking at the connection between obesity and cancer.

    • Almost every second health news article that hits the headlines has a link to the ayurvedic knowledge I have learned in the last 10 years. It is a fascinating subject and one that will help mankind. The ayurvedic concept of prakriti (body type) explains how certain people are more predisposed to certain disease tendencies. Ayurveda also gives a clear understanding of how pathologies a generated from an imbalance from the three doshas (fundamental life principles).

      Obesity is a common ailment today, but was fully explained in the classic ayurvedic texts. Ayurveda clearly states that a kapha type constitution (larger body type) – providing that person is in a balanced state, i.e. not overweight– benefits from the longest lifespan and best overall disease resistance. This fits in with the finding of the above study, in a loose sense, since ayurveda also confers that the weakest body type, with a slightly poorer disease resistance and shorter lifespan is the thinner body type: vata.

      The problem today is that most kapha types (bigger framed folk) tend to over-nourish themselves with (a) too much food and (b) under-exercise. This results in an excess of weight and soon leads to obesity. Once you are obese, ayurveda states that it is very hard, almost impossible to cure, and worse than being underweight.

      I hope this information is of use. All is not what it seems! What I love about ayurveda is that it reduces the infinitely complex miracle of life into a simple logical framework that can be used by laypeople as well as ayurvedic doctors. There are many layers of increasing complexity in ayurveda, but it is scalable – the basic axioms (the doshas mainly) – remain highly relevant and necessary for clinical practice, yet they (the concept of the doshas) are available to all who wish to apply some common sense and self-observation in the name of personal health care.

      Cheers, Alex 🙂

  2. I work with NDs who specialize in oncology and my clients that are referred by them are all Vata types, and some are already cancer survivors still not eating right, working at stressful jobs, etc so i definitely agree with your research and see a pattern

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