Extensive Liver Cancer: TCM University Hospital prescribed chemo drugs! After three days patient gave up due to side effects!

Henry (not real name) is a 58-year-old Indonesian. In 1994 he was diagnosed with Hepatitis B. He took herbs and was okay. But about three to four years later, a checkup showed the virus count has gone up high. He did nothing about it. In September 2017, Henry started to have bloated stomach. The doctor in Indonesia diagnosed it as gastritis. Later he went to the hospital and was told that he had liver cancer. He was prescribed some drugs.

No satisfied, Henry went for further treatment in China in early January 2018. He ended up in a TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) University Hospital.

A PET scan was done and the results showed the cancer had spread from the liver to his lung and lymph nodes around his neck.

Henry was prescribed three drugs to take:

  1. Adefovir (or Hepsera) – pharmaceutical drug
  2. Bicyclol – drug from a Chinese herb
  3. Sorafenib (or Nexavar) – pharmaceutical drug

A two-day consultation together with the above medication cost IDR 50 million (approx. RM 15,000).

Not satisfied, Henry went to another hospital (not a TCM hospital) for a second opinion. A blood test was done and the results were as below:

ALT 29.0
AST 40.0
Alk phosphatase 332.0
GGT 548.0
Alpha-fetoprotein 275,330.70
CA 125 278.50
CA 19.9 7.36
CA 15.3 24.80

The oncologist in this second hospital told Henry to go for chemotherapy. He refused and went home to Indonesia. 

What happened after taking the chemo-drugs?

Listen to his conversation with us this morning.


Chris: You took the three chemo-drugs that the doctor in TCM University hospital gave you. Then  what happened?

Patient: Not suitable for me! Just after three days, I had severe pain in my abdomen. This was after taking the Nexavar.

C: You itch too?

P: Yes, after taking the first two drugs (Adefovir and Bicyclol).

C: Then you gave up?

P:  Yes, we went to another hospital for blood test.

C: Did the doctor prescribe any medication (after they know that the AFP was 275,330.70)?

P: No medication. He asked me to go for chemotherapy. I refused and returned home to Indonesia.

Information from the internet 

It is not difficult in this information age to know what the drugs prescribed by your doctor would do to you. What you need to do is read or have the desire to “know”. The problem with most patients is they don’t want to know! They believe that doctors know best.

These are what I got from the internet.

Adefovir (Hepsera)

This drug is used to treat a chronic viral infection of the liver (hepatitis B) in people 12 years of age and older. It is not a cure for hepatitis B and does not prevent the passing of hepatitis B to others.

The possible side effects are:

  • muscle pain or weakness
  • numb or cold feeling in your arms and legs
  • trouble breathing
  • feeling dizzy, light-headed, tired, or very weak
  • stomach pain, nausea with vomiting, or
  • fast or uneven heart rate.


This is a novel, drug derived from Fructus Schisandrae (Wu Wei Zi), a Chinese herb for treating hepatitis B and C.

Sorafenib (Nexavar) 

This drug is commonly prescribed by oncologists worldwide to treat:

  • kidney cancer that has spread outside the kidney and who are no longer being helped by other treatments.
  • liver cancer that can’t be removed with surgery.
  • thyroid cancer that is no longer being controlled by radioactive iodine treatment.

The possible side effects are:

  • Rash
  • Hand – foot syndrome (Palmar-plantar erythrodysesthesia or PPE) – skin rash, swelling, redness, pain and/or peeling of the skin on the palms of hands and soles of feet. Usually mild, starting 5-6 weeks after start of treatment. May require reductions in the dose of the medication.
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • High blood pressure (particularly in first 6 weeks of treatment)
  • Hair loss (thinning or patchy hair loss)
  • Nausea
  • Itching
  • Low white blood cell count
  • Low platelet count
  • Poor appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Bleeding
  • Increased amylase/lipase blood counts
  • Low phosphorus level
  • Constipation
  • Shortness of breath
  • Cough
  • Numbness, tingling or pain in hands and feet.
  • Dry skin
  • Abdominal pain
  • Bone, muscle, joint pain
  • Headache
  • Weight loss

These side effects may occur in 30% of patients taking Nexavar. Some patients or their family members shared their experiences with Nexavar.

  • From Hepatitis to Liver Cancer: Nexavar for Free – No Thanks


  • Liver Cancer: Benefit and Side Effects of Nexavar



This is a sad  and pathetic story! Let’s start thinking a bit and ask some questions.

  1. Henry went to a TCM university hospital and he was prescribed pharmaceutical drugs. Does this sound right? Why do you need a TCM hospital then? Don’t you think the oncologists in a modern medicine hospitals are better trained and educated than those TCM professors or sinseh when it comes to prescribing pharmaceutical drugs?

Personally I was really disappointed after hearing this story. When I started CA Care more than twenty years ago, I learned and read a lot about TCM from the Chinese. My experience showed me that the traditional wisdom of healing can help cancer patients. And up to this day, I know I am still not wrong!

I would want to believe that those trained in TCM — in TCM university mind you — should be better and well placed to help cancer patients than me. To dish out chemo drugs to cancer patients is indeed a “betrayal” of sort. Hello TCM professors (I know that most TCM practitioners like to be called professors!) you can do better than that! 

Another disappointing thing is, even with TCM experts, they never teach patients that to get well patients need to take care of their diet and change their lifestyle. This is a real let down. What has gone wrong here?

Sun Simioa, China’s great physician said, Only those who apply diet for treatment are superb physicians. Doctors should first understand the cause of disease, then treat it with diet. Medicine should only be used if diet fails.

Indeed, you don’t have to be a TCM professor or scholar to understand this. Even some oncologists in the Western world know this very well.

  1. Sun Simiao also said, Whenever a great physician treats diseases, he should not give way to wishes and desires, but has to develop first a marked attitude of compassion. Above all, keep an open heart. “As I move on the right path I will receive great happiness as a reward without asking for anything in return.

From this great master of Chinese medicine, I learned about medical ethics, Sun Simiao was especially concerned about physicians being influenced by a desire for rewards, including financial rewards, fame, or favors granted to them: they should not have these as their goal. In the same note physicians should be honest — especially to their patients.

So, do you think the TCM doctor gave Henry an honest advice?

Take a look at the PET scan done in the TCM university hospital. His cancer is serious. His liver is badly damaged. And the cancer has spread to his lymph nodes and lungs. What is his chance of cure? Can we be honest about it?

Let’s be honest professor, what do you think can be achieved by asking Henry to shallow Adefovir,  Bicyclol and Sorafenib?

I believe this TCM professor would be able to help Henry better if he is well armed with the real art and deep knowledge of TCM. There is no need to “ape” what the western doctors do.

After looking at Henry’s PET scan and his blood test results — take note his alpha-fetoprotein was at 275,330 — I frankly told Henry no one on earth can ever “cure” him. He has to be realistic and know that his liver cancer is incurable. If he is able to live a quality life — can eat, can sleep, can move around and no pain — then be grateful and don’t ask for more.

This I believe can be achieved with the proper guidance of TCM principle and use of TCM herbs. For the past twenty plus years, I have given terminally ill patients herbs and taught them to change their diet and lifestyle. The results were amazing.

Let me end with this story …. A Tale of Two Patients: Alive and healthy — miraculous healing or fluke shot?