Treating cancer with TCVM (Proceedings) - Veterinary Healthcare


Treating cancer with TCVM (Proceedings)


Treatment Strategies for Treating Neoplasia with TCM

Strengthen the Body's Resistance and Tonify Zheng Qi
a. Tonify Qi and strengthen Spleen

  • Herbal Formulas: Si Jun Zi Wan. Bu Zhong Yi Qi Wan, Liu Jun Zi Wan, Wei Qi Booster

b. Nourish Blood and Yin
  • Herbal Formulas: Si Wu Tang, Shi Quan Da Bu, Ba Zhen Tang, Dang Gui Bu Xue Wan

c. Nourish Yin and Body Fluids:
  • Herbal Formulas: Sha Shen Mai Dong, Sheng Mai Yin

d. Tonify Kidney Yang
  • Herbal Formulas: You Gui Wan, Shen Qi Wan

The physiological effects of tonic herbs include enhanced immune system; inhibition of tumor growth, metastasis and mutation; protection of bone marrow and the hematopoietic system; decreased side effects of chemotherapy and radiation therapy; improved quality of life. Proposed mechanisms of these herbs includes stimulation of NK cell activity, synthesis of cytokines to restrict tumor cell growth, and regulation of neoplastic cell growth cycle.

Move Qi and Blood

Stagnation of Qi and Blood is the basic pathologic change seen in the development of cancer. Physiological effects of herbs that move Qi and Blood include destruction of tumor cells, immune system regulation, enhanced effects of primary therapy (radiation, chemotherapy), neuroendocrine regulation, prevention of post-radiation fibrosis and other side effects, and the alleviation of pain.

Herbal Formulas: Xue Fu Zhu Yu Tang, Stasis Breaker or Max's Formula (Jing Tang), Chihko and Curcuma (ITM). Should use in conjunction with herbals that nourish Qi and Blood since we need to ensure that there is adequate Qi and Blood to move (e.g., Wei Qi Booster).

Clear internal Heat and toxins

Infection and chronic inflammation are predisposing factors in the development of cancer. In TCM, Heat-toxin is a major cause of cancer. Herbs that eliminate toxic heat may have direct anti-tumor effects via regulation of the body's immune system, cAMP levels and DNA/RNA synthesis by tumor cells, and growth inhibition of tumor cells. In addition to being antitoxic and stimulating immune function, some of these herbs have antibiotic and anti-inflammatory properties.

Herbal Formula: Viola Clear Fire (Golden Flower), Zhong Gan Ling (Golden Flower)

Soften hard masses, dissolve aggregations

Herbs in this category soften and shrink masses; they are typically used in combination with tonic herbals to prevent the reformation of Qi/Blood/ Phelgm entanglement. There herbs may also alleviate pain from the tumor mass and help to control metastasis.

Herbal Formulas: Stasis Transforming Formula (Golden Flower), Stasis Breaker (Jing Tang), Max's Formula (for weaker animals; Jing Tang), Chihko and Curcuma (ITM).

In TCM the saying is, "Anything that is strange must be Phlegm". Damp is the origin of Phlegm. When Phelgm accumulates, masses develop. Damp obstructs the smooth flow of Spleen Qi so it's ability to transform food into Food Qi (Gu Qi) and transport Gu Qi to the Upper Jiao (Lungs for distribution to the rest of the body and Heart where the transformation into Blood occurs) is impaired. The Spleen hates Damp, and when there is Damp, the Spleen must work extra hard to eliminate the pathogen.

Herbal Formulas: Max Formula (Jing Tang), Phlegm Transforming Formula (Golden Flower)

Bring the body back to balance

The fundamental basis of TCM is balance and harmony. When the body is out of balance, there is disharmony and disease is manifested. Treatment therefore seeks to help the body to come back into balance, eliminating excesses and supplementing deficiencies.

Manage clinical signs and symptoms
a. Anorexia, nausea, vomiting

  • Herbal Formulas: Eight Gentlemen, Happy Earth (Jing Tang)

b. Diarrhea
  • Herbal Formula: Shen Ling Bai Zhu San

c. Constipation
  • Herbal Formula: Ma Zi Ren Wan

d. Inflammation, oral ulcers
  • Herbal Formula: Wu Wei Xiao Du Yin

e. Anemia, pancytopenia
  • Herbal Formulas: Marrow Plus (Health Concerns), Gui Pi Tang, Si Wu Tang, Chemo Blood Support Formula (Golden Flower)

f. Hemorrhage
  • Herbal Formula: Yunnan Baiyao, topically to bleeding lesions or orally. May be used preventatively or in acute hemorrhage due to hemangiosarcoma.

If no improvement is seen after 1 month of herbal administration, reevaluate and switch herbal formulas.


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