Cancer is an incredibly emotive subject. Those who have been touched by it, or have seen loved ones affected, will bear testament to the physical and emotional scars. It is estimated that 13% of all deaths can be attributed to cancer, and we invest millions each year in the research and development of preventions and cures.
According to the Western, pharmaceutical approach nearly all cancers are caused by genetic abnormalities. These abnormalities cause affected cells to multiply or mutate, thus interfering and harming the healthy workings of the body. Once diagnosed, cancer is then commonly treated with a combination of surgery, chemotherapy or radiotherapy.
Complete removal of the cancerous cells is the ideal outcome of any surgical incursion, however, the propensity of cancers to spread to and invade adjacent tissue often limits its effectiveness which is why chemotherapy and radiation are often employed to follow up and destroy the remaining cancer cells.
For any patients undergoing such treatments, the physical and emotional stress can be overwhelming. Surgical intervention increases the body’s healing strain and the introduction of chemicals and radiation raises toxicity and can cause additional damage to normal tissue. While most patients accept these as necessary side-effects, the strain can further undermine their well-being and recovery.
Headaches, chest and abdominal pains, nausea and vomiting, hair loss, mouth ulcers, liver and heart complications are all common side-effects faced by cancer patients. As a result of this, it is increasingly common for traditional Chinese medicine to be used to complement the Western approach. By targeting the resulting bodily imbalances with acupuncture and herbal remedies, Chinese medicine works alongside the Western model to alleviate the patients discomfort by detoxing and strengthening the immune response, helping the body to cope with the physical and emotional stress while restoring balance and vitality to their system.
Chinese medicine, however, has a rich heritage of its own when it comes to treating and preventing cancers. According to its teachings the development of cancer is closely related to external pathogenic factors, dietary and emotional causes. Tumors, therefore, result from an imbalance within the body, or between the body and the external environment. Rather than focussing entirely on the cancer itself or its particular symptoms, Chinese medicine broadens its focus to encompass the patient’s overall condition. By recognising the underlying patterns of deficiencies and imbalances, it aims to restore the natural workings of the body, boosting the immune response with supplemental herbal medicines to strengthen the body’s defences against the manifestation of cancerous blockages.
Chinese medicine’s main ambition, however, is to prevent these instances of malignancy in the first place. By encouraging patients to pay attention to diet, adopt a regular routine, and live in a peaceful environment, it seeks to avoid anxiety, depression and anger. By removing such destabilising forces the body remains in balance. A healthy, balanced system works in harmony. Promoting a strong, vital energy which is the key to a long and healthy life.
At BodaHealth we are committed to using Chinese medicine together with conventional healthcare to meet the needs of people living with cancer. High quality acupuncture and herbal medicine are routinely used for cancer care throughout Chinese hospitals and at BodaHealth we offer the same services to patients in Canada.