I flew into Kolkata (what used to be known as Calcutta) not really knowing what to expect – of the city itself or the people and place I had arranged to visit. The former had a reputation as the soulful, cultural heart of India, filled with the ramshackle architectural beauty, elegant buildings, and teeming slums; the latter an incredibly busy clinic of a renowned homeopath and his son where many patients with very severe pathologies such as cancer and chronic renal failure are treated with unique protocols. Actually, it might be more accurate to say that I had very few expectations at all. A little over a year ago, an Indian homeopathic colleague had related to me that he had spent some time observing at a clinic that was using unique protocols to treat very serious pathologies such as cancer and that subsequently he himself had found it effective for his own patients. That was all it took to whet my appetite.
Cancer is such a pervasive and formidable condition that the capacity to treat it is perhaps the most important yardstick by which a therapeutic modality can be measured. While ‘the’ cure for cancer remains as elusive an objective as the alchemist’s pursuit of gold, there are numerous therapies, many of them relatively unknown to the population at large, that have proven effective in treating various manifestations of the disease. Broadly speaking though, almost all of these treatments can be categorized into one of two approaches. The first aims to remove or destroy cancer cells, usually be aggressive intervention. This is best represented by conventional oncology, which employs surgery or the introduction of a toxic elements into the body.