Sunday, July 11, 2010
The C word.
Cancer. I know Cancer has touched the lives of many. When I think of cancer, it makes me frustrated. Its such a dark disease. Even the colour of tumors are dark. I admit that it makes me both sad and angry. My family has recently been touched by cancer, with the diagnosis of my father in law. In comparison, his journey so far is shorter than many, but at the same time, if feels like an eternity since he was diagnosed. Cancer isn't my speciality field. I make babies. I rarely treat cancer. However, since the diagnosis of Chris' father, I have been working along side a TCM cancer expert to treat his condition.
I decided early on that it was best that I wasn't my father in law's primary practitioner. Its too close to home, and its very difficult to think objectively when its your own family. So he has been regularly seeing a wonderful practitioner who specialises in cancer treatments. Im happy to stick to fertility. However, what it is allowing me is to see a different side of the field, and use the information he is giving me to more than likely use someday. When that women walks into my clinic facing cancer and the effects on her fertility, I will be grateful for this experience.
I regularly get asked what TCM can offer cancer. The beauty of Chinese Medicine is that is specific to the individual. This is why it works. It doesn't matter where or what the cancer is doing in your body, your diagnosis from the perspective of TCM is the most important aspect of treatment. Western Medicine finds this concept difficult to grasp, and doesn't generally separate conditions according to the patient. I remember one of the earliest cases of cancer I treated was one of the most rewarding. This particular patient was going through chemotherapy. She never lost her hair. She wasn't too unwell either. She attributed this to her ongoing TCM support.
More than likely, TCM will be a support treatment to western therapies for cancer patients. Now more than ever before, research is being preformed on both Chinese Medicine formulations as well as Acupuncture to work out just why it has positive effects on both cancer itself and the support of the patient. Exciting things are to come in this area and what my medicine can offer. Cancer is an inflammatory disease. So therefore treatment, diet and lifestyle changes that are specific to reducing inflammation.
I know I can't cure my father in law (although I don't doubt others both alternative and mainstream medicine can). I do know I can support his body and make it work to the best of its ability. This can only have positive effects on his overall health as well as recovery from chemotherapy. So this is what I will continue to do, because I certainly can't sit back and do nothing. Come to think of it, so far he hasn't lost his hair! I plan to keep it this way.