LUNG CANCER AND TURMERIC
Cancer is a set of diseases and symptoms recognized by uncontrollable cell growth.
Modern medication is still in the process of finding out the best medicine or any sophisticated technique to cure and eradicate the most dreaded disease of cell abnormality known as cancer, which is the most common cause of deaths specially lung cancer worldwide. Yearly Thousand of the people getting prayed of lung cancer, whether they are a smoker or non-smoker, the difference is only that smokers are more susceptible and more likely to suffer from lung cancer, and smoker have 9 or 10 fold more risk of developing lung cancer and the probability may be more than 10 times for the heavy smokers. Before knowing about lung cancer, first it would be better to understand the anatomy and physiology of lungs briefly:
Lungs and their functions:
The lungs are air-filled spongy organs, located under the caged ribs, at both side of the chest and filling the entire chest cavity. The wind pipe holds both the lungs; carry the inhaled air through tiny bronchi into the lungs. The main function of the lungs is to transfer the taken oxygen from the environment into the blood and helps respiration, other than this they also regulate blood pressure through the rennin-angiotensin system, filter out small air bubbles and the tiny blood clots, protects the heart from any shock or collision, traps minute dust particles and clear the mucus, works as a blood reservoir and helps in better air flow or ventilation and speech too.
Lungs also play a role in the body’s defenses against harmful substances in the air, such as smoke, pollution, bacteria or viruses.
To know any problem or any infection related to the lungs we need certain tests: X-ray, CT scan (Computer Tomography), Sputum Culture & Cytology, PFT (Pulmonary Function Tests), MRI scans (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) Lung Biopsy, Bronchoscopy.
What is lung cancer?
Lung cancer starts in the cells of the lung. A cancerous (malignant) tumor is a group of cancer cells that can grow into and destroy nearby tissue. It can also spread (metastasize) to other parts of the body. When cancer starts in lung cells, it is called primary lung cancer. A tumor may be malignant or non-malignant, malignant is a abnormal cell growth that leads to uncontrolled abnormal multiplications of the cells, that may spread nearby tissues and the cells such as lymph nodes, liver, adrenal glands, bones and the brain, also known as metastasis (spreading nearby tissues) but sometimes the cells don’t behave abnormally and no longer grow which is non-cancerous type which is curable and the person may spend a healthy life without any support of medication, after the short term medication or surgical treatment.
Some of the sign and symptoms of lung cancer are:
» Intense and persistent coughing
» Shoulder, back or chest pain
» Change in sputum color and coughing mucus with blood
» Continuous short breath
» Some voice changes with harsh sounds during breath
» Recurrent pneumonia or bronchitis
» Bone pain
» Swelling of arms, neck or face
» Dizziness, headache, numbness of limbs
» Lumps in the collar bone or neck region
There are a number of risk factors involved in the lung cancer but some may be controlled by your own such as quitting smoking and avoiding any kind of minor illness related to the throat or lungs, avoiding the pollution but you can’t control your family history or genetics that is the only exception.
Risk factors for lung cancer include:
» Smoking and exposure to smoke (passive smoking)
» Exposure to any carcinogens, asbestos or radon gas
» Genetically (earlier history of lung cancer in family)
Lung Cancer Treatments
» Thoracotomy: it is a minor surgery to obtain a lung biopsy or to treat serious lung condition
» Video-assisted thorascopic surgery (VATS) to diagnose the internal condition of the lungs
» Tthoracostomy: is done to drain air or fluid from the lungs
» Pleurocentesis: is also done to drain fluid for the sample
» Antibiotics, anti-viral drugs, vasodilators, bronchodilators for the smooth breathing and corticosteroids to reduce inflammation
» Mechanical ventilation is required to assist breathing through a tube, when the lungs condition is severe
» Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP): to keep the airway open air pressure is applied by a machine using a mask
» Lung transplant and lung resection (removing the diseased portion of the lung) » Radiation or Chemotherapy
Why “turmeric” for the Lung Cancer?
Modern science and medication is making efforts and progress to treat all forms of cancer and research is also going on to cure cancer as soon as possible to improve survival rate. Among all, lung cancer is one of the most common and a leading cause of mortality worldwide but it is not treatable yet because the existing treatment is not efficient and may result in high morbidity. To decrease the death rate, there is a need to develop alternate chemotherapy with more effectiveness and lesser toxicity and the side effects too. Turmeric or curcumin is the best solution.
Diferuloylmethane or Curcumin is the most valuable ingredient of the most well known kitchen spice “turmeric” that is derived from the roots of Curcuma longa, extensively used in Ayurveda since centuries for a variety of therapeutic purpose including analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiseptic and many more. Curcumin affects on biological pathways in number of ways, including cell proliferation, metastasis, apoptosis, radiation and chemo sensitization and invading the tumors. Curcumin may be the best supportive natural ingredients in tumors since it may regulate cancer genes and transcription process. One of the most bio-active ingredient of turmeric is curcuminoids group in which the curcumin holds the most significant position that impart bright yellow color and also responsible for the countless properties that have miraculous health benefits. Approximately 300 researches have been done to prove effectiveness of the curcumin, an active part of turmeric, and to show its anticancer property. Curcumin works in multiple ways it inhibits lung cancer, proven by the various researches that turmeric is a natural powerful anti-cancer agent it kills lung cancer cells, induce cell death, regulates tumor causing genes, prevent drug resistance, metastasis and survival rate of abnormal cells and damage the DNA also.
Turmeric prevents DNA damage that may be responsible for the lung cancer and shows significant anti carcinogenic activity that is present in cigarette, nicotine and environment as well. Turmeric inhibits any kind of inflammation, one of the most commonly know property and which may also be one of the most contributing factor in the cancer treatment and prevention.
Curcumin prevents, suppress and even terminates the malignant cells associated with the lung cancer and improves the self renewal function of the cells, induce damage and even slows down the cancer progression. Curcumin may treat lung cancer along with the conventional medication, increase the responsiveness of chemotherapy and radiation, may also enhances the survival time, but it is not a substitute of conventional medication, it may be a part of treatment or it may works as a preventive measure that may extend the life of any individual suffering from the lung cancer.