Cancer is an emotion, not a disease!

Nov 10, 2019 | Cancer, Health, Stress

When I was 4 or 5 years old, one day I found my mom hurriedly dressing me up to leave for my aunt’s place. Apparently, her sister’s daughter and a much older cousin of mine who had recently got married had heard of her husband meeting with a tragic accident.

Since there were no phones at the time or rather less common, she didn’t really know what had happened to her husband. The accident had happened in a city called Bangalore, while she was in Cuttack, Odisha. She had to take the first fight available and reach him in the earliest possible time frame.

The stress was so profound that she started praying to God to heal her husband and take her life instead. Those few days that she lived in abject terror not knowing how her husband was doing and whether he was going to survive or not, took its toll in the year to come.

As she met her husband in a critical state and nursed him back to health, her own health had started suffering. The gradual improvement of her husband’s health led to a gradual decline in her own.

She was detected with stomach cancer and passed away shortly. It was the first cancer detected death in the family and everyone was devastated. It was as if God had answered her prayers and decided to take her instead of her husband.

This story became a lore in the family.

Many years later when I had a health crisis, it was almost always after a life altering stressful situation. That pattern continues to date. But now I see health through a different set of eyes where I am constantly focused on the root cause.

And the root cause is always an emotion or situation which is out of our control or so it seems to us.

Stress can really be evil if adequate resilience is not built in. Stress can be catastrophic if we have several deficiencies in our bodies because then we become susceptible to a myriad of diseases and the body is incapable to fight it out with its defense system out of whack.

Studies show that the stress hormone norepinephrine, which is part of the body’s fight-or-flight response system, may promote angiogenesis and metastasis. Stress interferes with the way certain cells in your immune system work. In particular, it affects cells that find and kill emerging cancer cells.

Chronic stress can actually make cancer spread faster. It weakens the immune system’s anti-tumor defense or by encouraging new tumor-feeding blood vessels to form. Researchers already know the ATF3 is activated when all types of cells experience stress conditions that threaten their ability to maintain a constant internal environment (homeostasis).

So, this Cancer Awareness month for stomach cancer, lung cancer, pancreatic cancer and National Cancer Awareness day that just went by in India, I would like you to be more vigilant towards your own body. Pay attention to anyuncomfortable or stressful emotions that feel unwelcome. Give it a safe passage and let it go. The world hasn’t stopped for anything or anyone and all we need to master is the self.

Meanwhile, if you have any of these symptoms lasting for more than a few weeks for an unexplained reason, do see your doctor and investigate so that you can arrest anything that doesn’t need to spread and become critical:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Shortness of breath
  • Persistent headaches
  • Blood in urine, stool or spittle
  • New humps or growth on skin
  • Unexplained changes to fingernails
  • A sore or a bruise that does not heal
  • Indigestion or difficulty swallowing
  • Unexplained weight loss or tiredness
  • A cough or hoarseness that refuses to go
  • A mole that changes shape, size or bleeds
  • A change in bowel or bladder habits for no reason

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