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Management of Cancer with Chinese Medicine - May 2006

“According to the World Health Organization, more than 10 million people worldwide are diagnosed with cancer every year, and more than 6 million die of cancer. It is projected that in the next 20 years, these numbers will increase by 50%.” Li Peiwen, TCM Oncology Department, Beijing, June 2003.

Western Medicine treatments include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, or a combination of these. Unfortunately, both chemotherapy and radiotherapy are harsh, and produce side effects which may become a major problem to the patient. Sometimes the treatment has to be interrupted because the side-effects have become too strong and cannot be tolerated. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has proven to be an effective way to reduce these reactions to the side effects, allowing the treatment to continue. Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese herbs are now used routinely in China, alongside Western Medicine in the treatment of cancer.

Surgery: Surgery is currently one of the main methods used when treating cancer. Before the surgery, TCM herbs are used to raise the total white blood count and increase T lymphocyte activity: it strengthens the patient’s resistance to infection and enhance immunity. Also by administering herbs which nourish the Qi (energy) and the Blood, the body’s ability to withstand surgery will be increased, and postoperative complications will be reduced.

In TCM, surgery damages Qi and Blood and affects the functioning of the organs. After surgery, by replenishing Qi and Blood and reestablishing the paths of energy, TCM can reduce the possibility of recurrence of cancer, and builds strong conditions for future chemo and radio therapies.

Radiotherapy and Chemotherapy: In TCM terms, most of the side effects in radiotherapy are Heat patterns, with Yin being severely damaged. In chemotherapy we see patterns of damaged Qi and Blood, Spleen-Stomach disharmony and depletion the Liver and Kidneys. Treatments involve clearing Heat, nourishing Yin, fortifying the Spleen and harmonizing the Stomach, nourishing the Blood and the Qi and enriching the Liver and Kidneys.

Some studies have demonstrated that Chinese Medical herbs, used with radiotherapy and chemotherapy can enhance the immune system and protect the bone marrow.

Combining TCM and Western Medicine can improve the constitution of patients and enhance their quality of life.

“Statistical data covering recent decades indicates 70% - 90 % of patients undergoing radiotherapy or chemotherapy combined with treatments involving TCM completed their course, compared with 50-70 % for those undergoing therapies without TCM treatment.” - Li Peiwen: Management of Cancer with Chinese Medicine.-

 
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