Unani Approach to Sartan (Cancer)

Cancer (Sartan) is a hyperproliferative disorder that involves transformation, dysregulation of apoptosis, proliferation, invasion, angiogenesis and metastasis of cells.1 It is a leading cause of death worldwide, accounting for 8.8 million deaths in 2015, associated with cancer of lungs (1.69 million deaths), liver (788 000 deaths), colorectal (774 000 deaths), stomach (754 000 deaths) and breast (571 000 deaths).2  Sartan is an Arabic word which means crab and literally used for cancer.3  Cancer, is a Greek word which stand for crab, it is one of the most dreaded diseases since ancient times. The following observation indicates that the knowledge of the disease existed in the Unani (Graco-Arabian) system of medicine. Galen stated that “as a crab is furnished with claws on both sides of the body, so it is the disease. The veins extended from the growth giving it shapes much like of a crab.” 4 Unani scholar’s correlates cancer with crab and the way how crab holds with its limbs, similarly the disease is, so it can’t be separated easily.


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