Sudarshan Kriya - Sri Sri Ravi Shankar -CANCER TREATMENT.pdf

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INTRODUCTION
Behavioral or psychological factors such as
chronic stress may influence occurrence or progression
of cancer through several mechanisms:
1. Influence of stress on natural killer (NK) cells.
2. Poorer repair of damaged DNA.
3. Modulation of apoptosis.
4. Oxidative stress: aggravated by
psychological stress
Stress and natural killer cells
NK cells are the surveillance cells of immune
system, capable of destroying tumor cells and infected
cells. Stressors have been demonstrated to decrease
lymphocyte proliferation and reduce NK cell
cytotoxicity(1). Also, the cytokines- interferon ? and
interleukin -2 (IL-2) which otherwise enhance NK cells
and lymphocyte activated killer (LAK) cell activity get
suppressed due to stress(2). Smoking may play a
synergistic role (in conjunction with psychological
factors) and may further reduce NK cell cytotoxicity.
Suppression of NK cells and its functions may lead to
onset and/or progression of cancer.
Stress and DNA repair
Carcinogens induce tumors by damaging cellular
DNA(3). Body’s defense processes repair this damage
so as to prevent the occurrence of cancer. Ability to
repair damaged DNA, however is impaired in those
with depression(4). Some of the animal studies have
also suggested that stress may alter the DNA repair
processes(5). Thus, inability to repair DNA damage may
lead to cancer.
Stress modulates apoptosis
Apoptosis is a genetically programmed process,
which leads to alteration in cell structure and eventual
suicide. This process helps elimination of damaged
cells, which would otherwise induce carcinogenesis;
stress, however, impairs this process(6).
Oxidative stress: aggravated by psychosocial stress
Though oxygen is the most critical nutrient of
life, it is also the source of free radicals or reactive
oxygen species (ROS). ROS are generated either during
the normal metabolic processes of the body or due to
external agents such as radiation, ultraviolet light,
cigarette smoke, and environmental pollutants such
as asbestos, pesticides etc(7,8). ROS provide a state
called as oxidative stress, which is aggravated by
psychosocial stress(9), and leads to many diseases
including atherosclerosis, coronary heart disease
(CHD), rheumatoid arthritis, and cancer.
An antioxidant is a substance that scavenges
ROS. The body is equipped with antioxidant defense
in the form of glutathione and antioxidant enzymes
such as superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase and
glutathione peroxidase. Balance between the levels of
ROS and antioxidant defense in the body would
determine as to whether a person remains healthy or
suffers from one of the chronic diseases including
cancer, as mentioned above.
From the foregoing, it is apparent that
psychologic stress could induce cancer and/or may
cause its progression through a variety of mechanisms
including suppression of immune system, faulty repair
of DNA, modulation of apoptosis and through
aggravation of oxidative stress.
Behavioral interventions
Behavioral interventions in the form of
relaxation techniques have been studied to see if these
could improve immune functions and/or antioxidant
defense and may have positive effects on patients
suffering from cancer. NK cell activity has been
demonstrated to increase by many researchers(10, 11)

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