We all hope for health, but not all of us are fortunate. People of various age groups can acquire all sorts of medical conditions. Major morbidities in urban dwellers include coronary heart disease, hypertension, diabetes and chest infections. With advancements in the standard of healthcare, many diseases can be effectively treated and controlled. On the other hand, the incidence of cancer is still on a rapid rise, and is among the top causes of mortality. The mainstay of anti-cancer treatment nowadays includes surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
However, to a large extent, these treatment modalities are not always effective. Many patients hold great hope in these conventional treatment modalities, suffer significant toxicities, but eventually still lose the battle against cancer. A significant proportion of patients also die as result of treatment-related complications. Others are able to endure the treatment process, but are eventually faced with disease progression, deterioration, and death. Cases like these repeat everyday in real life. Hence many people label cancer as a fatal condition.
Cancer does not mean imminent death
Cancer is a treatable disease and should not be equated to imminent death. The key lies in our willingness to search for and accept new methods of treatment. Traditional Chinese Medicine emphasises on treating the patient as a whole, and making decisions tailored to individual differences. For example, patients who are weak and frail are not able to tolerate chemotherapy or radiotherapy. These aggressive treatment modalities would only hasten the dying process in the frail.
Other patients have good overall general condition but rapidly enlarging tumours despite chemotherapy and radiotherapy, Chinese Medicine uses a completely different approach to anti-cancer treatment. First of all, the patient’s general condition should be stabilised, and the rate of tumour growth suppressed. Hence, patients are given the opportunity to recover from the damage caused by rapid tumour growth before they receive more aggressive treatment. Significantly slowing tumour progression, and tuming/it into a chronic, treatable disease that is not rapidly life-threatening, buys the individual valuable time for further anti-cancer treatment. With this approach, many patients achieve good clinical outcome and even disease remission.
In reality, the above is readily attainable by many cancer patients during the course of anti-cancer treatment with ‘life repair’. They arrive at the clinic often in terminal condition, deemed just weeks to months left to live by oncologists. However, with a different treatment perspective practiced with Traditional Chinese Medicine, their condition can often be stabilised. Although it may not be realistic for them to achieve rapid disease remission, they are able to earn themselves a chance for prolonged survival as they live with.the disease, and take a further step towards the possibility of cure.
Novel treatment strategies used in ‘life repair’ should be given ample attention and research opportunities so that more patients will be able to benefit from refined treatment. With further research, there is great prospect in even more effective anti-cancer treatment with ‘life repair’. We hope that different parts of society can each lend a helping hand to support the efficient development of this highly promising field.