The cause of cancer often remains a mystery, and the outcome of treatment even more so. Perhaps the best defence is to commit to the fight on all fronts in order to answer the question, ‘Why me?’, and in so doing unearth a healing truth.
‘You may tend to get cancer from the thing that makes you want to smoke so much, not from the smoking itself.’ William Saroyan
Cancer, the greatest scourge of our times touches us all either directly – one in two or three people will develop it in their life times – or indirectly through afflicting family members or friends. It is an illness like no other, challenging our very existence, our deepest emotions, our greatest resources. What adds to the frustration is that, often, the cause remains a mystery and the cure elusive.
THE MYSTERY OF POSSIBLE CAUSES
We think cancer has its root causes in family genetics, in a toxic environment and in our habitual negative patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving. Yet many people who have a strong family history of cancer and who live very unhealthy and stressful lives never develop cancer, while others with no family history and who live seemingly healthy lives are afflicted with cancer.
So, what do we really know about its causes, how it begins and why it affects one person and not another? And why do some cancers respond so well to treatment and never recur, while in others the response is poor and recurrence is common?
What do we really know about its causes, how it begins and why it affects one person and not another?
Why do some cancers respond so well to treatment and never recur, while in others the response is poor and recurrence is common?
While modern science knows much about the generic causes of cancer, the disease remains a mystery. Science will trace the genetic causes of cancer to damage to the DNA material in the chromosomes with shifts in the genes and subsequent cell mutations; or will focus on immunological causes like the inability of the immune system to perceive or eliminate aberrant cells; or detect biochemical abnormalities caused by excess insulin or the toxicity due to over 2 500 known carcinogenic chemical substances in our environment.
It is easy to postulate that cancer develops when cells of the body start growing abnormally and are no longer controlled by the normal surveillance and regulative forces of the body. And it is true that in the healthy state, a complex protective system controls the natural tendency of cells to grow and proliferate. Yet it still remains a mystery as to what upsets this self-regulating equilibrium in each individual cancer patient.
PREDISPOSITION AND SUSCEPTIBILITY
When one takes the time to listen carefully to cancer patients, to investigate their biography, and to observe and examine carefully their constitution in a holistic manner, one discovers a predisposition and susceptibility that probably have a great deal to do with the development of the cancer. From the homeopathic viewpoint one may call this the ‘cancer miasm’. Every holistic system of medicine understands this concept of predisposition and susceptibility and utilises it in the prevention and treatment of illness.
Predisposition refers to the individual specific constitutional factors or tendencies that determine a person’s physical, functional or psychological make-up. Susceptability refers to the individual specific manner in which an individual responds to some stimulus.
JP, a patient who developed lung cancer at age 62 years has a strong family history of cancer; he was a person prone to angry outbursts but was taught as a young child to suppress his feelings; he discovered at an early age that smoking cigarettes relieved his tension and this became a life-long addiction. When he was 60 years old he lost his eldest son in a car accident and two years later was diagnosed with cancer.
We can see here how an underlying genetic and early psychological predisposition leads to life style choices which placed JP at risk of developing cancer. For 60 odd years there was no sign of cancer. Then an emotional shock to his system seemed to change his susceptibility and to trigger the illness.
It is difficult to pinpoint the many factors, psychological or otherwise, that could be attributed to the development of JP’s cancer. All we can speak about is the probability that all these factors predisposed him to his illness.
If JP had consulted me before his cancer was diagnosed I might have warned him of the potential risks and designed a treatment programme to try and neutralise the predisposing risk factors. We would have had him on mistletoe injections to limit the inherited disposition and to enhance his immune protective functions. We would have worked psycho-therapeutically on the suppression of feelings and would have probably found the hurt and angry child that needed nurturing and protecting. This internal nurturer and protector would have provided a better alternative to the harmful substitution of tension relief though smoking cigarettes and would have enabled him to stop smoking.
CHOOSING TO FIGHT
JP did choose to fight the illness with everything that was available to him. He chose to explore the deeper psycho-emotional factors that he recognised as predispositions and found his inner caregiver. He chose to change his lifestyle, modify his diet, stop smoking and embark on an active detox programme. He chose to start mistletoe injections, courses of high dose vitamin C infusions and ozone therapy. He underwent a two-week treatment with sono photo dynamic therapy to actively break down tumour tissue and strengthen his immune system.
Do we know whether this treatment will be effective for everyone? The unfortunate reality is that we never know beforehand, whether we use conventional or integrative therapy. We can only make choices based on the best information we have at our disposal and wait to see the results of our choices.
What we do know is that JP is well now. For how long no one can say. We shall have to wait and see. But what is certain is that JP has made the choice to fight this illness with the will to live and to heal himself. This may change his destiny.
In the final analysis cancer remains a mystery, because whatever we may do with our very best intentions we still cannot be sure of the outcome. This is because the healing does not lie primarily in the intentions and choices of the practitioner, family or friends. We can be healing partners and have some say in the healing process, but in the end the mystery and its revelation lies in the hidden innate choices of destiny of the patient him or her Self about which few of us have any real inkling. It is only in the wisdom of this unseen Reality, in the choices and the activity of the Self that the mystery of cancer will be understood and solved. In the quest to understand this mystery of our times we can but strive to find this Truth.