The California Woman

September – October 2008

Cancer;  It’s Not

Just an

Astrological Sign

By Amber Flynn


 The fourth sign in Astrology is Cancer. These individuals are born between June 20th and July 22nd. Cancer is the sign of the Crab, and the keyword is “I feel.” The Cancer person is protective, sensitive, tenacious, empathic, nurturing, mothering, and self-sacrificing. They can also be crabby, moody, clingy, overprotective and temperamental. Their ruling planet is the Moon, which is why they can be so “moody”. The moon “changes” or goes into a new astrological sign every 2-3 days. The Cancer person experiences a different energy or “need” every few days. (Compare that to a Capricorn whose ruling planet is Saturn and changes signs every 2-½ years!) The results of this type of change for a Cancer individual could perhaps be an unpredictable personality, but it is also be a person who is very adept at feeling their emotions. Cancer also is associated with the stomach and the breasts.

I Googled Breast Cancer and the results were an amazing 99,000,000. The information out there about this particular disease is overwhelming, really.  I began to wonder if there was any connection between the astrological sign of Cancer and the disease. Here is what I found. (Please bear with my need to cite some historical reference).

History and Origin of the Word Cancer

Hippocrates was an ancient Greek Physician of the Age of Pericles (called the Golden Age). He was referred to as the “father of medicine” and developed the Hippocratic oath which is still used in medical schools today.

He was the first person to describe the disease Cancer. He chose the Greek word carcinos, meaning crab or crayfish, to refer to malignant tumors. He chose this because of the appearance of the cut surface of a solid malignant tumor. The veins on the tumor stretch out on all sides like the animal (the crab) has its feet. He later added the suffix -oma, Greek for swelling, giving the name carcinoma. But it was Celsus a Roman Physician who later translated carcinos into the Latin word Cancer, also meaning crab. And it was another physician who came about later, – Galen who used “oncos” to describe all tumors, the root for the modern word oncology.

In the research that I did for this article I came across a very interesting quote:

“The consensus on diet and cancer is that obesity increases the risk of developing cancer. Particular dietary practices often explain differences in cancer incidence in different countries (e.g. gastric cancer is more common in Japan, while colon cancer is more common in the United States). Studies have shown that immigrants develop the risk of their new country, often within one generation, suggesting a substantial link between diet and cancer. Whether reducing obesity in a population also reduces cancer incidence is unknown.” ~

Nourishment, mothering and feelings are linked to the Astrological sign of Cancer and we receive our initial need for nourishment from our “mother. “ When we no longer know what we need and we are out of balance and feel undernourished, this is when stress and disease can begin to develop. This pertains not only to the physical body but the psychological body as well. In India, the health of the Moon in any astrological chart is fundamental and paramount to interpreting how someone will perceive that they will be “fed,” again, both psychologically and physically.

It has always been interesting to me that Cancer is an emotional disease (and an emotional astrological sign.) The development of the disease of cancer immediately creates a need for that person to reflect on their emotional body. Balancing our emotional bodies is definitely not the easiest thing to do but for someone who is born a Cancer sign they are always doing this. Hummm.

So Cancer is not just an astrological sign but has some interesting connections to the origins and understandings of the disease of Cancer. Perhaps this is no mere coincidence but the beauty of how all things are intrinsically connected.

Reference the California Woman at: for a Free Chart (not an interpretation) to see what part of your chart the astrological Sign Cancer is associated with.