Thursday, November 7, 2013

WFAS 2013 Review: An overview of Breast Cancer TCM Treatment in Malaysia

One of the first talks I got to on the conference 3 day weekend was an overview from Malaysia.

It states in the abstract about the talk: Malaysia was one of the first Commonwealth countries (53 independent sovereign states, mostly previously British colonies) to use TCM for cancer treatment in government hospitals. It goes on to say: the Malaysian government also approved the use of patent medicines (herbal pills) in cancer treatment, for free!

Medicine in Australia could learn from Malaysia! Further more herbs are really frowned upon in cancer assistance here. That doesn't seem to be the case in Malaysia.

The talk itself by Prof Chunhua Liao, who is a project director for the government project, was more informative than clinical. TCM has been integrated in hospitals there since 2007. With 10 hospitals integrated and 15 departments using TCM nationwide.

Typical formulas used were Xiao Yao San. One herb was mentioned as particularly helpful for building up immunity: Chai Hu. Even stated to reduce metastasis..!

I guess the main thing that caught my intention was a project directive to revert malignant cells back to benign as a future goal. It was a concept I had not heard of before. In Western medicine the emphasis is on killing the cancer and the local cells it could proliferate too. The reversal concept is a very TCM one. That is "if it went one way it can go the other". Just like a knot can be tied and untied. This is a metaphor that I have always liked. Inspiring at the least!

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