Local wisdom for cancer prevention: A case study from Dângrêk region

How to cite this article:
Kaewla W, Wiwanitkit V. Local wisdom for cancer prevention: A case study from Dângrêk region. Ann Trop Med Public Health 2015;8:16-7


How to cite this URL:
Kaewla W, Wiwanitkit V. Local wisdom for cancer prevention: A case study from Dângrêk region. Ann Trop Med Public Health [serial online] 2015 [cited 2020 Sep 22];8:16-7. Available from: https://www.atmph.org/text.asp?2015/8/1/16/156710

Dear Sir,

Cancer prevention is an important process in public health. Cancer prevention is not a new thing: The existence of local wisdom for cancer prevention can be seen and this is a very interesting topic that is little mentioned. Rohan et al. have proposed “the need for teamwork and collaboration, integration of the program into existing systems, the ability of programs to use wisdom at the local level, and the influence of social norms.” [1] Here, the authors briefly discuss a case study from Dângrêk region, an area at the Thailand-Cambodia border, focusing on local wisdom for cancer prevention. The study is part of the process for collection of local wisdom toward the construction of a museum on local health wisdom at Surin Rajabhat University, Surin Province, Thailand. [2],[3] The authors performed a field study to trace the local wisdom centers in the studied area. An in-depth interview of the local health wisdom prophet was conducted. Details of local herb, treatment, beliefs, and environmental norms were collected. Based on the present work, local health wisdom is shown, and some interesting local wisdom for cancer prevention can be identified. Most of the identified wisdom is considered a form of tertiary prevention. The use of local herbs for health promotion to fight cancer can be seen. The wisdom on nutritional management by promoting the intake of useful foods and the avoidance of some foods that can be harmful to those affected by disease, can be seen. In addition, methods of management for relieving of the pain of the cancer patient using local herbal products can be identified. An interesting case is the local alternative medicine therapist, a Buddhist abbot who proposed the idea for management of lymphoma. The interesting idea involves the avoidance of “cutting through cancerous mass” and stressing local manipulation to relieve pain symptoms. This can be concordant with the present view in medicine that the rupture of the tumor should be avoided to prevent metastasis.

Weiss et al. noted that “without access to community programs, cancer survivors are at risk for lower quality of care and lower quality of life.” [4] To successfully know and understand local health wisdom becomes an important process in successful health management. [2],[3] In the present report, the authors discuss and share experience regarding local wisdom for cancer prevention. The referencing site has the classical culture of Dângrêk-style medicine, which is rooted in ancient Khmer (Cambodian) Ayurveda. It is accepted that Ayurveda-style medicine has interesting implications for cancer prevention. [5] As seen in the present work, many local herbs have been proposed for their properties of pain relief in cancer patients. In fact, recent reports showed that many agents in Ayurvedic medicine had anti-inflammatory properties. [6] It is wise to make further in-depth study of those identified local herbs. In conclusion, the authors present a preliminary report on and observation of local wisdom for cancer prevention as a case study from Dângrêk region. There is much interesting identified wisdom. Further in-depth studies are recommended to validate and prove the advantages of the identified wisdom.


The authors would like to thank Associate Professor Atchara Phanurat and the Chancellor, Surin Rajabhat University, Surin Province, Thailand for their suggestion and support.



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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1755-6783.156710

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