Cancer is the term given to several dozen diseases which have, as a common characteristic, loss of control of cellular growth. Another common feature of cancer is called Cachexia, which means that the cancer sequesters nutrients from the body so that many cancer patients suffer from severe and sometimes fatal malnutrition.
Chinese medicine has much to offer in the treatment of cancer. It not only helps to reduce or remove the accompanying symptoms of nausea, loss of appetite, hair loss, fatigue, pain and bleeding, but research has shown that the herbal therapy acts as an anti-cancer agent, helping to strengthen the immune system and reduce the hard masses.
As is the most common practice in Chine, Chinese medical therapies are usually used an adjuncts to western therapies (such as radiation and chemotherapy). In fact, the overall success rate for the treatment of cancer when both eastern and western medicine are used is 30% higher than when one or the other is used alone.
Chinese medicine has a 5 phase approach to treating cancer in combination with western therapies. First, herbs and acupuncture are given to strengthen the immune system. Second, herbs (such as Oldenlandia, Scutellaria, Violet, Coix, Pyrola and Laminaria) are administered which are particularly effective as anti-cancer agents. Third, the treatments are adjusted to treat the accompanying physical symptoms (such as nausea, bleeding, pain, hair falling out, loss of appetite, or any other symptom that the patient had before the cancer developed). Herbs and acupuncture are given based on the individual’s constitutional imbalances which is ascertained by the oriental doctor by taking the 12 pulses before treatment. Fourth, blood-activation herbs and anti-toxin herbs are used because these herbs stimulate a physiologic mechanism that clears toxins and fights tumor cells. Fifth, herbs and acupuncture are given to dissolve hard masses. This is accomplished with salty agents such as oyster shell, sargassum, laminaria, turtle shell, eupolyphagia, scrophularia.
Some types of cancers which have been successfully treated with Chinese Medicine (in conjunction with western medicine), include breast cancer, skin cancer, lung cancer, uterine tumors, bone cancer, stomach cancer, colon cancer and thyroid tumors.
Because the Liver and Stomach energy channels (meridians) cross the breasts, this type of cancer is believed to result most directly from disorders of the liver and stomach. Harmonizing prescriptions are likely to be preventative as well as suitable adjunct treatments.
Uterine tumors arise from stagnancy of liver blood and chi (basic life force energy) related to liver tension and build-up of toxins. Bone cancers arise when the kidney yang is depleted and the blood is stagnant. Stomach cancer arises from heat and blood stasis, with accumulation of phlegm. Colon cancers arise from accumulation of toxin and stagnation of blood.
Treatment is aimed at strengthening the immune system, dissolving hard masses and stagnant blood, circulating the liver, dissolving phlegm, removing excess heat and toxins and strengthening the energy channels which are deficient or weak. The results which can be expected are that the patient has more stamina, less fatigue, and the reversal of symptoms mentioned at the beginning. In addition, the treatments can also be used as preventative measures to reduce the recurrence of cancer in those individuals who are at high risk.
Thus, it is important that we take note of how well Chinese Medicine can treat more life-threatening illnesses and that both western and eastern medicine can complement each other in the treatment of disease.