- Question from Tweet: What is the standard for treating breast cancer in Traditional Chinese Medicine? Is the cure rate the same or different from in the west?
This is assuming that Chinese medicine has the same protocols as Western medicine. It does not. There is no standard regimen. It's not like conventional Western medicine, with a limited number of standards.
Chinese medicine depends highly on the individual practitioner and the patient. In a way there is no standard of treatment in traditional Chinese medicine for breast cancer. Therefore I think it's difficult to talk about cure rates for breast cancer in general. Maybe a response rate, but again I think the person raising the question may expect too much from medicine. I don't think we can quote a particular rate for Chinese medicine because it's so individualized. A lot of things we assume in the West like clinical trials and standardization of care do not yet exist in Chinese medicine.
Traditional Chinese Medicine goes back a few thousand years and breast cancer was rare, even a hundred years ago. Cancer was rare. If you look at traditional Chinese medicine textbooks, it hardly appears. It is sometimes called, "a hardness," a "firmness," a "lump." There are whole textbooks devoted to salmonella or typhoid, but nothing on breast cancer. So, there's no standard as you would expect. It's not a disease that affected hundreds of thousands of people.
- Beth Baughman DuPree, M.D., F.A.C.S. One of the things that I think is important to point out is that when women of Asian descent relocate from Asia to the United States, their incidence of breast cancer becomes the same as women who are born and raised in the United States. This goes along with what Dr. Chang is speaking about: in the Asian culture, breast cancer does not have the same history that it has had in the United States. Once women move into this country, adopt our diet and our stressful lives, and they live in this environment, the incidence begins to equalize that of women who have lived here forever.
- Raymond Chang That is true. Thanks to globalization, breast cancer rates are globalizing as well.
The Ask-the-Expert Online Conference called Traditional Chinese Medicine featured Raymond Chang, M.D. and moderator Beth Baughman Dupree, M.D., F.A.C.S. answering your questions about how to discuss Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) with your cancer doctor.
Editor's Note: This conference took place in September 2005.
The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of Breastcancer.org. A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.
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