Qiu Baoguo's experience in treating consumptive syndromes following radio and chemotherapy
Qiu Baoguo's experience in treating consumptive syndromes following radioand chemotherapy, by Han Weifeng. In the experience of Dr Qiu the serious side‑effects of radiotherapy and chemotherapy in the treatment of cancer can be minimised by the use of Chinese herbs. Cancer develops when prolonged qi stagnation and blood stasis, accumulation of turbid phlegm and the consumption of vital qi results in the formation of 'tumour toxins'. These are classified as the toxins of heat, damp and blood stasis. Western medicine uses the principle of 'combating poison with poison' in its treatment of cancer, although the side‑effects can mean that qi is further depleted and the flow of qi and blood is disrupted. In the early stages of consumptive disease following chemo‑ and radiotherapy there are signs of Lung and Spleen deficiency, with subsequent qi and yin deficiency later. In severe cases the qi of the Liver and Kidney and finally the qi, blood and Kidney yang are consumed. Thus the clinical picture can be complex. The basic principle of treatment is to strengthen body's resistance and build vital qi, beginning with the Spleen, Lung and Kidney. The Stomach and Spleen, as the foundation of post‑natal essence, are the clinical priority in treatment with Chinese medicine, particularly as most patients suffer from digestive disturbance as a result of Western medical treatment. To treat the Stomach and Spleen Dr Qiu uses Shen Ling Bai Zhu San, Zuo Jin Wan, Xiao Ban Xia Tang and Zeng Ye Tang as the guiding formulae. Herbs with a known ability to strengthen immunity and act on tumour growth are also used, such as Huang Qi (Astragali Radix), Dang Shen (Codonopsis Radix), Bai Zhu (Atractylodis macrocephalae Rhizoma) and Gou Qi Zi (Lycii Fructus). Dr Qiu also uses modified Ba Zhen Tang or Dang Gui Bu Xue Tang to strengthen the qi and blood when necessary. His guiding formulae for replenishing essence and bone marrow that have been damaged by Western drug therapy are Zuo Gui Wan, You Gui Wan and He Che Da Zao Wan, with the addition of Kidney and Liver tonics to tonify the yang. Dr Qiu combines the above formulae with herbs that eliminate toxic heat, soften hard masses and have a known effect on inhibiting tumour growth, such as Shi Jian Chuan (Salviae Chinensis Herba), Wei Ling Xian (Clematidis Radix), Tu Bie Chong (Eupolyphaga/ Steleophaga) and Yu Xing Cao (Houttuyniae Herba). Thus he eliminates pathogenic factors whilst simultaneously strengthening the body resistance. The article concludes with sample case histories.
JTCM January 2009
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