(Kuala Lumpur News) What are the successful examples of combining traditional Chinese and Western medicine to treat breast cancer?
Before talking about this topic, Dr. Lin Renji, an oncologist with integrated traditional Chinese and Western medicine, wants readers to understand what breast cancer is and why this cancer is so difficult to treat?
Treatment options vary from person to person
He noted that breast cancer can be divided into different types, the most common of which are intraductal carcinoma, which originates inside the ducts of the breast, and intralobular carcinoma, which originates in the breast. During the growth process of cells in the lobules, these tumors may gradually expand, invade surrounding tissues, and even metastasize to other parts. This is the so-called cancer metastasis.
“Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers in women, but a very small number of men may also develop it. Age, genetic factors, and lifestyle may increase the risk of breast cancer. Cancer is difficult to treat because it is associated with Common illnesses, such as bacterial infections, are distinct in many ways.”
“First of all, cancers with specific inhibitory inhibitors are a type of inhibitory disease. That is, the same type of cancer may have different manifestations and progression in different patients. Each patient’s tumor cells may have different characteristics. Gene mutations and growth characteristics cause it. Treatment options need to be individualized, but in reality it is difficult to find a universal treatment that works for all patients.”
Cancer has a long incubation period and is difficult to treat
He said that in contrast, bacterial infections are usually caused by a single pathogen, and antibiotics can target specific bacteria for targeted treatment; second, the clarity of cancer, cancer cells can invade surrounding tissues and organs, and even enter the blood and lymphatic system for distant metastasis. This clarity makes cancer difficult to completely remove and prone to recurrence; in contrast, common bacterial infections are often localized to specific tissues or organs and can be cleared well with antibiotic treatment.
“Third, cancer cells resist drugs and sometimes develop drug resistance, which makes it difficult for treatment to be effective. The genetic variation and rapid reproduction of cancer cells allow them to evade chemotherapy, targeted therapy, and immunotherapy. combat; while for bacterial infections bacterial resistance exists but can often be controlled by choosing the right combination of antibiotics or early use of effective drugs.”
Finally, it is the latent nature of cancer. Cancer often has a long incubation period and may not have obvious symptoms in the early stage, so when it is discovered, it has usually developed to an advanced stage and is more difficult to treat. In contrast, bacterial infections usually have With a short incubation period, patients will soon develop obvious symptoms of infection, allowing timely treatment.
Western medicine continues to improve
Sun Tzu said in the Art of War: If you know the enemy and yourself, you will be in danger in a hundred battles; if you don’t know the enemy but know yourself, you will win one and lose one; if you don’t know the enemy and yourself, you will be in danger in every battle! After understanding the cause and characteristics of breast cancer, he wanted readers to see what magic weapons there are in the medical community to deal with this cunning enemy.
He pointed out that for early-stage breast cancer, Western medicine generally uses surgery to remove tumor tissue and uses radiotherapy or chemotherapy to remove potential residual cancer cells. The increase in surgical resection rate and the continuous improvement of radiotherapy and chemotherapy have led to the continuous improvement of the cure rate of early breast cancer; for advanced or metastatic breast cancer, Western medicine has developed new drugs such as targeted therapy and immunotherapy, and targeted therapy , refers to the use of targeted drugs to accurately attack cancer cells by targeting specific protein targets on the surface of cancer cells while reducing damage to normal cells, while immunotherapy uses the patient’s own immune system to identify and attack cancer cells, improving the anti-cancer immune system response. “
In addition to these new drug therapies significantly improving the survival rate and quality of life of patients with advanced breast cancer, personalized medicine has also been widely used in breast cancer treatment through genetic testing and analysis of patients’ breast cancer tissues. , can formulate precise treatment plans for each patient, avoid unnecessary treatment, and improve the treatment effect.
Traditional Chinese Medicine Assisted Treatment
Reduce side effects
In traditional Chinese medicine theory, breast cancer is usually classified into the category of “breast paralysis” or “breast core”.
Traditional Chinese medicine also focuses on adjusting the patient’s overall condition, promoting the body’s self-repair ability, and improving immunity to achieve the purpose of treating breast cancer.
Lin Renji pointed out that traditional Chinese medicine believes that stagnation of liver qi in the body leads to the occurrence of breast cancer. The main key is the liver, which is one of the five internal organs. It can cause liver qi stagnation. The disease is located in the breast, which is closely related to the liver and kidneys, and involves the spleen, stomach and gallbladder. The main pathological factors are phlegm, blood stasis, dampness and poison.
Medicinal diet enhances body resistance
Traditional Chinese medicine emphasizes individualized syndrome differentiation and treatment, using acupuncture, moxibustion, traditional Chinese medicine decoctions and medicated diets according to the patient’s different physical symptoms and pathological characteristics. Traditional Chinese medicine also focuses on adjusting the patient’s overall condition, promoting the body’s self-healing ability and improving immunity. To achieve the purpose of treating breast cancer.
Traditional Chinese medicine plays an important role in the treatment of breast cancer, mainly in the following aspects:
First, dialectical treatment. Traditional Chinese medicine emphasizes individualized dialectical treatment, which means conducting a comprehensive dialectical analysis based on the patient’s constitution, symptoms, pathological characteristics, etc. According to traditional Chinese medicine, breast cancer can have different causes, which may be caused by factors such as imbalance of yin and yang, imbalance of qi and blood, uneven cold and heat. According to different conditions, traditional Chinese medicine will formulate corresponding treatment plans, including the use of traditional Chinese medicine decoctions, Acupuncture, medicinal diet, etc. are used to regulate the patient’s body balance, improve immunity, and help patients regain health.
Second, auxiliary treatment. Traditional Chinese medicine is usually used as an auxiliary method in the treatment of breast cancer. In addition to traditional treatments such as surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and other main treatments, traditional Chinese medicine can play a synergistic role to help reduce side effects and improve patients’ quality of life, such as traditional Chinese medicine decoctions. It can relieve discomfort during treatment, acupuncture can relieve pain and nausea, and medicinal diet can provide nutrients to enhance the body’s resistance.
Third, improve your lifestyle. Traditional Chinese medicine emphasizes the impact of lifestyle on health. During the treatment of breast cancer, TCM doctors will guide patients to better cope with the treatment process and enhance the body’s healing ability.
Fourth, psychological support. Faced with the diagnosis and treatment of cancer, patients and their families may face tremendous psychological pressure. Traditional Chinese medicine also pays attention to psychological support during the treatment of breast cancer, encouraging patients to actively face treatment, adjust their mentality, and maintain optimism, which can help improve Treatment efficacy.
Yew developed into chemotherapy drug
Returning to today’s topic, are there any successful examples of combining traditional Chinese and Western medicine to treat breast cancer? He said that in cancer treatment, its effectiveness depends on the effectiveness of the treatment on the patient and the improvement in survival.
“In terms of tumor efficacy, traditional Chinese medicine alone, such as yew,
It has been developed as one of the chemotherapy drugs for the treatment of breast cancer; as for improving survival, we can learn from a recent study published on the use of traditional Chinese medicine in the treatment of breast cancer.
This study is titled “Chinese Herbal Medicine Improves Survivors in Stage 4 Breast Cancer Patients” (Chinese Herbal Medicine Improves Survivors in Stage 4 Breast Cancer Patients). It uses data mining to combine the Taiwan Cancer Registry Database and the Hospital Database. The therapeutic effect of traditional Chinese medicine on advanced breast cancer was explored. “
According to the results of this study, the survival rate of patients who use traditional Chinese medicine as adjuvant therapy is improved compared with patients who do not use traditional Chinese medicine. The research results provide some encouraging findings, indicating that traditional Chinese medicine may have an effect on patients with advanced breast cancer. certain benefits.
Having said that, due to the inherent limitations of traditional Chinese medicine research methods, more further research is needed in the future to verify the exact role and safety of traditional Chinese medicine in the treatment of breast cancer. Therefore, in clinical practice, Lin Renji recommends that patients consider auxiliary traditional Chinese medicine before During treatment, be sure to fully discuss with a specialist and develop the most appropriate treatment plan based on comprehensive consideration of individual circumstances.