WHAT IS TRADITIONAL CHINESE MEDICINE (TCM)?
Traditional Chinese Medicine, often abbreviated TCM, is a complex and holistic system which addresses your overall health and wellbeing, rather than focusing on individual ailments as isolated incidents. TCM places as much emphasis on the prevention of illnesses as on their treatment.
Our purpose is to be a global facilitator of health and wellness through access, education and advancement of Traditional & Complementary Medicine (T&CM). The World Health Organization (WHO) advises that lifestyle-related diseases (or non-communicable diseases) are responsible for more than 70% of deaths worldwide each year.
Knowledge represents empowerment. By sharing this evidence-based, peer-reviewed research, we aim to support everyday people to take ownership of their wellness, by making informed decisions and choices in conjunction with their health professional.
How This Study Could Help Your Cancer Treatment
The WHO estimates that between 30-50% of cancers are preventable by healthy lifestyle choices. This review discusses the use of Chinese herbal medicine to assist in the prevention of cancer and is titled:
CANCER CHEMOPREVENTION AND THERAPY USING CHINESE HERBAL MEDICINE.
You can read the full study here: https://biologicalproceduresonline.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12575-017-0066-1
The economic impact of cancer across the world is estimated to be in the trillions each year. In addition to the financial toll it creates, cancer causes a significant physical and emotional impact to the affected person and their loved ones. Cancer can be caused by a variety of factors and may develop over a long time period, even during treatment. Therefore research into medications that disrupt or reverse precancerous cell changes are desirable in the battle against cancer.
Why Is This Study Important?
Even with significant advancement in cancer treatment over the years, illness and death due to this non-communicable disease still remains high. This study aims to draw attention to the clinical evidence behind the cancer-preventive effects of Chinese herbal medicine and encourage further research in the area, by reviewing a number of clinical trials and research.
What is Chemoprevention?
Cancer arises from the multi-stage transformation of normal cells into tumour cells. Chemoprevention involves the use of drugs, vitamins or other substances to suppress, prevent, or reverse cancer development by blocking cancer from initiating in cells that have begun developing into a cancer cell.
What Does This Mean For My Wellness?
The use of Chinese herbal medicine in cancer prevention requires more extensive clinical testing to ensure its effectiveness. Given this, the best approach to cancer prevention is to follow the guidance of the WHO and modify or avoid key risk factors where possible.
While consuming plants and herbs such as green tea, ginseng or turmeric may not be conclusively proven to prevent cancer in humans, it will contribute to a varied diet, which in turn can help to reduce the likelihood of cancer.
How Does This Relate to Chinese Herbal Medicine?
Traditional Chinese medicine aims to restore balance in the body and has relied on effective ingredients in plant and animal products to treat patients for over thousands of years. Herbs may be ground into a paste and applied topically, or brewed as a drink, and a variety of herbs are often mixed together and prescribed in compound mixtures.
The natural agents found in plants have been used for cancer prevention and treatment in traditional Chinese medicine practice for centuries, and some naturally occurring products from Chinese herbal medicine may assist to prevent the initiation of cancer forming in cells.
Key Findings About Using Chinese Herbal Medicine for Cancer Chemoprevention
- Studies suggest that Chinese herbal medicine may be particularly effective in preventing cancer of the respiratory and upper digestive tract, as compared to other areas of the body.
- Evidence on the effectiveness of Chinese herbal medicine in cancer chemoprevention can be variable. For example, green tea extract has been studied in a number of trials with some positive results. One study found a correlation between an increase in green tea consumption and a reduction in the risk of head and neck cancer (although the results were impacted by a person’s consumption of alcohol). On the other hand, multiple other studies have found limited evidence of the effectiveness of green tea in reducing the incidence of liver cancer.
- While there is potential for Chinese herbal medicine to be used as a cancer chemoprevention treatment due to the low or non-toxicity of the plants and herbs, there needs to be more scientific testing done, and more research to understand how Chinese herbal medicine could interact with other cancer treatments.
Biological Procedures Online is a peer-reviewed, open access journal with a focus on research that improves access to techniques and methods in the medical and biological sciences. Their topics of interest include, but are not limited to, reports of new research techniques and applications of existing techniques, technical analyses of research techniques and published reports, validity analyses of research methods and approaches to judging the validity of research reports, reviews of existing techniques, and novel or important product information. Biological Procedures Online places emphasis on multidisciplinary approaches that integrate methodologies from medicine, biology, chemistry, imaging, engineering, bioinformatics, computer science, and systems analysis.
Quoted from journal description
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) | SoulAdvisor
Cancer | World Health Organization
Chinese herbal medicine | Better Health Channel
Biological Procedures Online | BioMed Central Ltd