Cancer is a modern scourge than is rapidly increasing in frequency. From 1 person in 12 when I started my career the figure is now approaching 1 in 2. And this is a change that can ne neither explained by our increased longevity or genetic change. So what is going wrong?
It is patently obvious that the medical industry does not fully appreciate or understand cancer. Whilst it may help with suffering, it can also sometimes contribute to it, and the success rate in cure remains stubbornly resistant to our attempts to change it.
I suspect this is because the way we conceive cancer is limited and wrong. We maintain a mechanistic viewpoint based on genetic change. We ignore the increasing evidence from other fields, such as the environmental, nutritional, psychological and spiritual.
Beyond this mechanistic habit of looking at disease, we may ask ourselves: If we look at cancer in a metaphoric and not literal manner, then what is it telling us?
Diseases are “fashionable”. When I first started medicine we were on a – supposed – crest of a wave with infectious disease. Over the years this shift to cardiovascular disease as time progressed.
Whilst we are a long way from “defeating” this (and also infectious disease if we are honest) we have made inroads, although I would argue that the greatest changes are from nutritional and environmental rather than pharmacological or surgical medicine.
But cardiovascular disease now produces less fear; instead it has been replaced by cancer.
If we look at the progression of these diseases over time, it is as if we are dealing with a catch-up situation with our drugs, vaccines and surgery. Then problems like Ebola emerge, as if to remind us that maybe “we haven’t got it yet”.
When I look at people who have healed themselves from cancer, I see that they invariably make changes in some or all the disciplines I outlined above – environmental, nutritional, psychological and spiritual. Whilst the last two are important, I want to focus on the first two.
Inevitably people with cancer who want to heal themselves gravitate to a change in diet and an avoidance of toxic chemicals. In very simplistic terms this tells us that a) our diets are inadequate, and b) that foreign chemicals aren’t good for us.
But beyond this is our environmental perspective generally; it is our disdain for and manipulation of nature. We exploit her, deprive and even rape her… is cancer her revenge? Or is it some struggling attempt in the body to overcome the lack of nurturing?
Such a world-view inevitably extends to the psychological; it is often after a psychic shock with the resultant isolation and fear, not being or feeling “nurtured”, that cancer develops. Spiritually, how is it we can treat and exploit our mother with such disdain?
I do not believe this is “nature’s revenge”. I simply believe we cannot treat our “mother” in this way and expect to survive as a species. Maybe, in this viewpoint, cancer is a huge, huge warning sign.