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  By Dr. Suraj Verma MBBS. MS. FICS. (USA)
                   President Cancer Detection Society of India

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Tibetan Cause


Cancer Control Programme

Dharamsala (Himachal Pradesh) India

A Project of Cancer Detection Society of India

& Tibetan Medical & Astrological Institue


Sitting from the right Mr. V.K. Bhatnagar (IAS Chief Guest), Dr. Suraj Verma (President Cancer Society), Mr. Tenpa C. Samkhar(Secretary, Health Department) & Mr. Samdup Lahtse.(addressing)

(Director, Tibetan Medical & Astrological Institute)

Conducted BY :-

Dr. Suraj Verma MBBS. MS. FICS. (USA)
President Cancer Detection Society of India
H-8 Hauz Khas New Delhi 110 016 India
A Report on
Cancer Control Programme Dharamsala (Himachal Pradesh) India
Organised from 25th April to 25th July 2002
A Project of Cancer Detection Society of India (C.D.S.I.) & Tibetan Medical & Astro Institute (T.M.A.I)
Cancer Detection Society of India is a charitable organization. The objectives are to address the cause of cancer, care of cancer patients and concern of the community.
To control and contain cancer incidence the society organises various programmes to create awareness followed by free cancer detection camps.
Himachal cancer relief is one of such progammes which was launched on 25th April 2002 for 3 months at Dharamsala for Tibetan Refugees and rural people of the region.
In our endeavour, we have incorporated the application of Tibetan Medicine in the treatment of detected cases in our free cancer camps organised daily at Tibetan Medical Institute, (Men-Tsee- khang).
The detected and diagnosed cases received Tibetan medicines and Cancer Society of India monitored its effect on the patients.
In all 30 positive cases was detected. The Tibetan medicines were distributed free. The response of the drugs were recorded on a special designed proforma. The study made is very encouraging. The problems faced and risk factors are mentioned in the inference of this report.
The study carried out can be more meaningful if the medicines are distributed free on follow ups and reach to disadvantaged and patients at their doors. The terminal cases need Hospice services for the dressing of their wounds, blood & fluid infusions,care of feeding tubes and management of various stomas.


A Hospice of 5 to 10 beds is an urgent need to take care of advanced and terminal cancer cases. It shall provide us useful and longer follow-up as well as prognostic evaluation of the patients under Tibetan Medicines.

The Cancer Detection Society of India has been allotted land at Rakkar village for Hospice services and admission facilities for the management of needy patients.


Cancer has existed as a dreaded disease all along with man kind. Hippocrates, twenty five thousand years ago, called it "KARKINOIS", because it resembled claws of crab. Susruta described cancer as a tumour which would ulcerate and would not cure, and "sow it seeds in other parts of the body". In recent years it has become a very common problem in India where half a million new cases are recorded every year. There are 70 million cancer cases in the world out of which 7 million are detected in India. 125 cases of cancer, pre-existing and new, are recorded everyday in various centres of Delhi alone.
Although the exact cause of cancer is still not very clearly defined, tobacco chewing, smoking combined with alcohol consumption are recognised as principle predisposing factors in oral cancer. In addition smoked chicken, mutton and fish are known to cause the nasopharyngeal malignancies common in Nagaland and Mizoram. Air pollution, use of chemicals and pesticides act as a direct cause of cancer.
Gastro-Intestinal Tract (GIT) cancers involving oesophagus, the stomach and liver are common in the Tibetan population of Dharamsala. Oesophageal cancers are also common in Kashmiris. These factors, alongwith vitamin deficiencies, lead to the high incidence of oesophageal inflammation, and a predisposition to cancer.

During periods of stress, a similar modality is observed in GIT. Stress is known to cause ulcers in the GIT, which are further activated by promotors scuh as fatty and fried foods, alcohol, chillies, animal fats and tobacco. Thus stress acts as an initiator which damages the cell and promotes a change in the pattern of cell transformation into non-healing ulcers predisposed to cancer. We have incorporated our stress findings particularly in Tibetan population, since this population endures constant stress due to their refugee status .

In our survey and study we have found that the Hepatitis type B&C are known to cause Liver Cirrhosis and cancer. We have also found history of this infection in almost all cases of liver cancer. The Hepatitis type B is 5 % in India and far more common than type C. Alcohol consumption is prohibited for a period of 2-3 yers for the recovery of the damaged liver cells . If cirrhosis sets in, alcohol is forbidden. The lack of awareness and education about this single factor contributes in both the rich and poor and educated and uneducated populations to a predisposition of liver cancer.

There is an increasing acceleration in health reforms at national and international level. The various systems and disciplines in medicines are active besides their limitations in preventing and containing the disease.

Allopathy is quite a new system of medicine in comparison to many indigenous disciplines e.g. Tibetan, Ayurved, Homeopathy and Unani. Inspite of the advanced and developed technology in detection and diagnosis, the allopathy system still remains answerable in curing cancer. Therefore, the conventional indigenous systems still remain collateral and contemporary choice in the treatment of cancer. Tibetan medicine has established its superiority in the existing alternative systems of medicine. The Tibetan Medical and Astrological Institute (Men-Tsee-Khang) runs five years medical school course, which still needs recognition all over the world.

There are various health agencies working on cancer control in India and abroad. The Cancer Detection Society of India has began a cancer control programme with state governments in order to address the problems at country level according to epidemieological, social and economical situation. This comprehensive approach addresses the burden of cancer and defines priority intervention within the areas of prevention, treatment & palliative care. Thus the mission offers most rationale of cancer even where resources are severely limited.
Himachal Cancer Relief is one of such an attempt at state level. A project of the society launched in Aug. 1997 at Manali covering Chindi Village in Mandi District, Kufri in Shimla and Kotbeja village in Solan.
To cover Dharmsala and its adjacent urban rural, rural and Tibetan population a project proposal was sent to Shri Prabodh Saxena, Dy. Commissioner and Mr. Samdup Lhatse, the Director of Tibetan Medical and Astrological Institue, Dharamsala. The project was titled as " Cancer Control Programme, Dharamsala" (A joint venture of Tibetan Medical and Astrological Institue and Cancer Detection Society of India)
The purpose was identified to achieve;
  1. Cancer Control by early detection
  2. Role of Tibetan medicine in containing the disease.
  3. To establish a Hospice to provide comfort, quality and dignity in life
The project was accepted and agreed for three months from 25th April to 25th July 2002.
The Venue : Tibetan Medical and Astrological Institue, Dharamsala.
The Concept of Tibetan Astro Science
Tibetan Astro Science is an art of calculation and interpretation of celestial phenomenon. It is classified in two categories :
A Elemental Astrology
B Astronomy
Both of the systems have been drawn from the teachnigs of neighbouring countries such as India, China, Persia and Greece in synthesis with the tenets of Budhism to create a unique Tibetan System.
A Elemental Astrology : The practitioners of Bon, one of Tibet's ancient religion, acknowledged the five elements earlier and used a system of astrological prediction and divination based on tribal Indian Tantric practice, animism and early forms of Budhism.
  During the 7th century A.D. first grade Tibetan king, Songtsen second name Gampo's 5th wife was a Chinese princess and was an accomplished astrologer and a deout Buddhist, introduced many books on elemental astrology and medicine from China. Thus Tibetan astrological principles were strongly by classical Chinese astrology.
B Tibetan Astronomical system. The Shri Kalachakra Tantra is the basis of this system. It was translated from Sanskrit for the first time in 1027 A.D. It helped in the making of Tibetan annual almanac and calendar.
It contains three chapters.
  1. The External Kalachakra focuses on creation of universe, its cosmology, the movements of planets and stars, the five elements and chronological studies.
  2. Internal Kalachakra - which concentrates on energy centers of the body (chakra), its energy channels and effect of external forces like planets and stars on the body organs.
  3. Alternative Kalachakra is most important to meditation, yoga practice and empowerment teachings.
The Importance of Astro. Science in Medicine.
In Tibet, the arts of Astro. Science and Medicine have worked together for thousands of years describing the influences on both within and without the body. Both the systems, combined with knowledge of the five elements of wood, fire, earth, metal and water explained the creation and degeneration of the universe and its living beings. The theory of these five elements states that all physical phenomenon whether in the macroscopic or the microscopic cosmic world are formed by these five energies which express the dynamic qualities of movement, heat, solidity, emptiness and wetness respectively. These elements have three types of applications :

(a) - External:-

Wood is used for fuel and cooking.

Fire for heating

Metal for knives and tools

Water for drinking

Earth upon which we live

(B) - Internal

wood is represented by nerves and muscles.

fire is the digestive heat.

earth is flesh

metal is bone

water is blood

(c) The Alternative Elements - correspond to five vital and six hollow organs :

wood - liver and gall bladder

Fire - Heart and small intestine

Earth - stomach and spleen

Metal - Lungs and large intestine

Water - Kidneys, urinary bladder and seminal vesicles.

Tibetan medicine asserts that the cause of all disease is ignorance and ignorance is interpreted as unawareness of dharma which leads to make wrong decisions in terms of our diet and behaviours which develop into disorders connected with desire, attachements and hatred.

Since the five elements have profound effect on the human body, it is necessary for a physician practicing Tibetan medicine to have a thorough knowledge of Astro Science and their clinical applications.
A good example of inter relationship between Tibetan medicine and Astro. Science can be found in the technique of pulse diagnosis. In spring season, the liver pulse predominates, which is connected to the wood element. If the physician is not aware of the seasonal influence on a patient's pulse, he may misdiagnose the disease.
The Importance of Astronomical Aids in Medicine
As we have described the Kalachakra Tantra of Astronomical System is one of the highest expressions of Buddhist philosophy and follows the astrological concept of five elements of which the body is composed of. The body takes food comprises of elements and the disease is the expression of imbalance among the elements. Therefore, the remedy should be composed of the corresponding elements.
The suggested remedies include :-
yoga practice, meditation and empowerment techniques
behavioural guidelines
puja techniques suitably possible according to movement of planets and stars.
A slight difference in five theory is fire, earth, water is common in both Astrlogy and Astronomy but wood is represented by air and metals by space in Astronomy.
The application of Astro. Science in treatment of patients appears as Medical Text and a Tibetan Medical physician when treats gives medicine also. This gives an indication how closely the two sciences are related.




Component - I    
Recurring (for one year)    
2 General duty Doctors (part time 8000 x 12 months Rs. 1,92,000
Gynaecologist 2000 x 52 camps Rs. 1,04,000
Cancer Surgeon 2000 x 52 camps Rs. 1,04,000
3 Staff Nurses 4000 x 12 months Rs. 1,44,000
2 Auxillaiary Health Workers 3000 x 12 months Rs. 72,000
2 Health Surveyors 3000 x 12 months Rs. 72,000
2 Clinical Laboratory Technicians 5000 x 12 months Rs. 1,20,000
X - ray Technician 5000 x 12 months Rs. 60,000
Mammography Technican 5000 x 12 months Rs. 60,000
Ultrasound Technican 5000 x 12 months Rs. 60,000
Project coordinator 4000 x 12 months Rs. 48,000
Driver 3000 x 12 months Rs. 36,000
Venue Rent 15000 x 12 months Rs. 1,80,000
Travel Expenses of Chief Coordinator   Rs. 30,000
  Total Rs. 12,82,000
Component II - (Recurring)   Rs. 1,50,000
Production of Publicity materials & Stationary   Rs. 1,50,000
Biopsy, FNAC, Endoscopy material   Rs. 50,000
X-ray, mammography and ultrasound films   Rs. 50,000
Clinical photography   Rs. 1,50,000
Petrol   Rs. 50,000
Miscellaneous & Incidental   Rs. 20,000
  Total Rs. 7,90,000
Component III (Non Recurring)    
Clinical laboratory equipments & x-ray Plant   Rs. 11,00,000
Mammography & ultrasound equipments are requested as    
  Grand Total Rs. 31,72,000




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