Modern Oncology and Chinese Medicine

Oncology tells us that a cancer cell is an irregularly formed, rapidly regenerating type of mutant cell that can appear almost anywhere in the human body. Normally human cells grow and divide to form new cells as the body needs them. When cells age and weaken or are damaged they die and new cells take their place. When mutant cells develop this orderly process breaks down. As cells become more and more abnormal, old or damaged cells survive when they should not and new cells form when they are not needed. These mutant cells can divide continuously and may collect to form growths called tumors.

Cancer cells can move through the body along regular pathways, like the lymphatic system, in a process called metastasis. Metastatic cancer holds a similar molecular feature to the original cells so breast cancer that has metastasized to the lung is still breast cancer but now resides in the lung.

For a very long time the conventional wisdom in the biomedical treatment of cancer was some combination of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. That is, cut the tumor out, burn it, poison it or all three. Most recently, over the last twenty years, biomedicine has been exploring the potential of immunotherapy also known as biotherapy for cancer treatment. In biotherapy the subject’s immune system is enhanced using specific or broad spectrum protein antibodies like immunoglobulin either to enhance the body’s entire immune system or to focus an attack on particular types of cancer cells.

Your immune system is a collection of organs, special cells, and substances that help protect you from infections and other diseases. Immune cells like white blood cells, and the substances they make, travel through your body to protect it from germs that cause infections. They also help protect you from cancer, there are mutant cells forming in the body all the time and the immune system regularly purges them from our systems.

The immune system keeps track of all of the substances normally found in the body. Any newly introduced substance that the immune system doesn’t recognize triggers an immuno response, causing the immune system to attack it. For example, germs contain certain proteins that are not normally found in the human body. The immune system sees these as “foreign” and attacks them. The immune response can destroy anything containing the foreign substance, such as germs or cancer cells.

Another cutting edge concept in cancer therapy is starving cancer cells of certain amino acids like glutamine and even glucose, yes, that’s sugar. While the science of cancer cell starvation is just being looked at, we in traditional Chinese medicine have been using both the starvation of cancer sites well as the use of immunological enhancements for cancer disruption for quite some time.

Chinese medical literature suggests using herbal formulas that are also used for chronic viral diseases, i.e., biotherapy. Chronic viruses integrate into the DNA which must then be activated for a virus to express itself within the body.. Cancer cells similarly have a DNA segment that causes uncontrolled reproduction of cells that must also be activated to stimulate this growth. The Chinese anti cancer formulas use herb combinations that prevent the activation of dormant DNA strands that can cause the disease.

Chinese medicine has also been using herbs and formulas that break up what we refer to as stasis to reduce tumors, cysts and other unwanted growths for hundreds of years. Modern research in China is now showing that the herbs that break up the tumors are in fact introducing chemicals to the tumor that inhibit the uptake of certain key nutrients by the cancer cells, thus starving them and causing them to die off without subdividing.

Here in the Western world we usually offer traditional Chinese medicine as a support for more conventional cancer therapies. We are able to offset many of the debilitating side effects of chemo and radiation therapies and help people survive their cancer and flourish afterward. It is our hope here at Atlantic Acupuncture that more and more people will start to utilize the concepts of cutting edge oncology that have been used successfully by Chinese doctors for hundreds of years.

Yours in good health,

Robert Kienitz, DTCM

Atlantic Acupuncture of Vero Beach FL.