The country of India is a study in contrasts, old and new, ancient and modern, and this is shown even in their health and medical care today. Over 50 years ago there was a society called the Indian Cancer Society which was established as a Public Trust for the country. This is still the leading national anti-cancer group for India. They work to care for the poor in India and they help keep track of incidences of different types of cancers, as well as serving many other functions. This society keeps track of all of the resources that are available for cancer treatments and also helps to record the trends and other statistics about cancer in India which are needed by the government and medical professionals. Much work is done in working with the rural poor and they have even established a Rehabilitation Center for cancer patients and survivors in the country which is known as one of the largest and best in all of Asia.
The modern approach to cancer treatment in India does not differ much from standard protocols in the USA. Treatment in the USA is more advanced in some ways and it is also more widely accepted among the population as a whole. India has access to the many different surgical operations and palliative therapies. They also have radiation clinics and treatment centers, usually located in the hospital settings. Chemotherapy treatment modalities and other drugs are also in use. There are many skilled doctors in India and many of them have trained for years in other countries to learn the latest skills.
One of the biggest differences in the cancer treatment setting in India lies with the population and the ancient beliefs and traditions of their Swamis and other herbal healers. There is an ancient practice of medicine in India that is called Ayurevedic medicine and the Swamis, or holy men, are some of the more devoted participants in this form of medicine. An Ayurevedic healer has been trained in the art of using herbs and other plants to treat any ailment or disease. Many of the Indian people will use this form of medicine as opposed to any modern practices.
Ayurevedic medicine practitioners claim that anything can be healed with natural means and that you do not have to use any chemicals, drugs or surgical procedures. Some of the herbs and plants that are used do indeed have properties that are helpful to people and many of them are used in modern pharmaceuticals. There are hundreds of herbs found in India whose effectiveness or potential for human benefit are unknown. These natural cures are not all scientifically proven nor have most been subjected to rigorous independent testing procedures. Most of the treatments are spread by word of mouth or are those that are passed down in teachings to the Swamis. The benefit of these herbs is debatable at best and will continue to be so until the many claims about them can actually be proven one way or the other.
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