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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 14  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 95-96

Ethical issues in cancer care through ayurveda

1 Department of Kaumarbhritya, MGACH and RC, Wardha, Maharashtra, India
2 Department of Shalakyatantra, MGACH and RC, Wardha, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Priyanka Shelotkar
Department of Kaumarbhritya, MGACH and RC, Salod, Wardha, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jdmimsu.jdmimsu_207_19

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The second most common disease in India responsible for maximum mortality is cancer, with an incidence of about 0.3 million deaths per year. Although there are good diagnostic methods and treatment, cancer is still a big risk to our society. Ayurveda is the most commonly used complementary and alternative medicine in India, as it is add-on to conventional cancer care. Now, this is need of the hour to make collaboration between Ayurveda and modern physicians with mutual trust in the management of cancer. In various meetings, standard treatment protocols have been set, and integrative oncology programs have been initiated in a few institutes across India. But still, there are some ethical issues regarding this integrative oncology. Today is the era of evidence-based medicine, and we are lacking in generating evidence of the benefits of Ayurveda intervention. Also, there is a deficit of publications in systematic reviews of prior research studies, exploring the safety and efficacy of Ayurveda in the management of cancer, ensuring comprehensive clinical documentation based on categorization of patients. We have enough knowledge about the mode of action of herbal as well as modern drugs, but we are not aware of herb–modern drug interaction. Hence, herb–modern drug interaction studies and chemosensitivity studies, based on both laboratory research and clinical observations, should be conducted. Acknowledgment of the medicolegal and ethical issues involved in integrative oncology and developing strategies for clinical practice and research should be made. Making available insurance coverage for integrative oncology care, keeping in mind the aim of universal health coverage, will facilitate more number of patients toward integrative management for cancer. Through appropriate cooperation with modern medicine, Ayurveda can make substantial contributions for the advances of integrative oncology. This can discover the specific health challenges and open up new opportunities for the development of integrative Ayurveda oncology in the world.

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