The ancient texts on Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) do not contemplate cancer as a disease. At least, not in the way that we know it in the Western world today. While it is true that they speak of tumors (they call them masses), they do not contemplate a specific differentiation between benign and malignant tumors. However, the doctors at the time could indeed predict whether the mass they were treating had a good prognosis or not.
As usual, when we compare TCM with Western medicine, the description of disease patterns varies greatly from one to the other. This is true for several reasons, including the fact that TCM works with syndromes (the root of the problem) rather than symptoms (the physical, psychological and emotional consequences of a syndrome). However, in the case of cancer, there is another reason for the fact that the ancient texts did not recognize cancer as a disease. As Dr. T. Colin Campbell observed in The China Study*, ancient rural China did not have a real prevalence of cancer/tumors in the way that Western countries did… since the time when The China Study took place until today, China and other Eastern cultures have become more and more nutritionally westernized, so to speak… an unfortunate development for them, as it brings them closer and closer to equating the prevalence of non-transmissible diseases such as cancer, auto-immune diseases, hypertension or circulatory and respiratory problems to that of the Western world, where they have become a massive burden to our health, our financial system and our society.
As a TCM practitioner and Vegan Lifestyle Coach, I see patients in my clinic who are dealing with cancer. Some of them are in remission and others are going through chemotherapy or radiotherapy. In either case, TCM and nutrition are perfect allies to help with their recovery and to reduce the probabilities of a relapse. Moreover, a 100% plant-based nutrition is an extremely effective way of reducing the probabilities of any of us developing cancer or other non-transmissible diseases throughout our lives, meaning that it does not only work in helping with the cure of the disease, but also as an effective preventative method to avoid the disease appearing in the first place.
Of course, nothing in this life, including TCM and nutrition, can give us a 100% guarantee of perfect health. However, there are things that we can do that greatly increase our chances at a life of wellbeing and radiant health… and nutrition and TCM are definitely a part of them.
Following a protocol of acupuncture, chinese herbal therapy and a 100% plant-based diet can prevent the development of the syndromes that are normally responsible for the appearance of cancer (namely Blood Stagnation, Phlegm, Toxic Heat or Humidity **). Moreover, if cancer has already made an appearance, combining this kind of protocol with the necessary Western treatment/s (surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy) can greatly increase the chances of survival and remission, as well as greatly reduce the probabilities of a relapse.
Finally, TCM and a healthy, 100% plant-based diet are also effective ways to deal with the adverse effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Both TCM and plant-based nutrition can boost the immune system of the patient dramatically, making his/her body stronger to deal with the treatment and increasing the probabilities of a good outcome. Moreover, both TCM and plant-based nutrition work wonders on stress and anxiety levels, insomnia, general energy levels and psychological wellness, as well as helping to mitigate any nausea, headaches or dizziness that are sometimes associated with Western treatment/s.
I have always been an advocate for the combination of Eastern and Western medicine, practices and habits, to reach a state of complete wellbeing and radiant health. I believe that the treatment and prevention of cancer is a wonderful example of how this combination can save the day… and our lives.
(*) The China Study – T. Colin Campbell and Thomas M. Campbell II
(**) Traditional Chinese Medicine is based on the balance between Yin and Yang, the two manifestations of Qi. The syndromes are described as Yin Deficiencies, Yang Deficiencies, Blood Stagnation, Phlegm, Heat, etc. These do NOT correspond to physical manifestations of blood, phlegm, heat, etc. but rather to energetic imbalances only