Breast Cancer: A story from China

GT is a 35-year-old single lady from China. About a year ago (in July 2018) she felt a lump in her left breast. She was asked to do a biopsy and probably followed by an operation. She refused.

GT works as a sales assistant in a health food company. She sells health drinks that are said to boost the immune system. Her boss gave her these “health foods” and she took these for about three months. No, the lump in her breast did not shrink.

GT then turned to TCM – Traditional Chinese Medicine. She consulted a TCM doctor in the hospital.

Chris: The TCM doctor did not ask you to operate and remove the lump in your breast?

Translator: The doctor said, “don’t cut.”

C: Did the TCM doctor say he can cure you?

Translator: Yes. This doctor is quite famous.

C: No, he did not know and he gave wrong advice!

GT was on TCM medications for almost a year. And these did not work for her either.

GT went back to the TCM  hospital again. She did a CT scan. The lump in her breast had grown bigger, to 3.8 x 1.8 cm. The cancer had spread to her lungs and bone. Unfortunately, GT did not bring along her CT scan so I am not able to see the extent of her metastasis.

C: What did the doctor say after the CT scan?

T: She was referred to other “bigger” hospital for treatment. But instead of going to the hospital she decided to fly to see you in Penang.

GT presented with breathlessness and severe coughs which make it difficult for her to sleep at night. Otherwise, she looked fine. The lump in the breast is hard and intact, not lacerated.

 

My advice

  1. If you were to see me earlier when you first discovered the lump, I would have asked you to remove the lump.
    This is the safest way for you. If you keep the lump in your breast it will grow bigger and one day it will burst. Do you like your lump to be like the picture below?

  1. In addition to the painful and ugly wound like above, the cancer will spread. It goes to the lymph nodes, lung, bone, liver and finally brain. So you don’t want to take such risk. The longer the cancerous lump is in your breast the higher is the risk that it will spread elsewhere.
  2. You are only 35 years old. You should not take such risk. Also, my experience showed me that breast cancer in young person tend to be aggressive. So, don’t take any chance.
  3. Now, the cancer has already spread to your lungs and bone. I don’t know how extensive it is because you did not bring along your CT scan.

WHAT DO YOU EXPECT ME TO DO for you?

I felt very sad after hearing her story. I was also upset. She was not given the “right” advice. Now her condition had deteriorated with such an “extensive” metastasis. I am afraid her recovery or survival is very slim. And this poor lady flew all the way from China to see me. What can I do? What did she expect me to do for her? That was exactly the question I asked her that morning.

GT’s reply was rather modest. She wanted me to help her with her coughs. I was glad that she did not ask me to cure her! No, I cannot cure her cancer! To help her, may be but not cure.

I spent time talking to GT trying to find out what could be the underlying problems that could have contributed to her breast cancer.

My advice to her that morning:

 

  1. Physical stress: Her life is too stressful. GT works from 9 a.m. to up till mid-night sometimes. She stays by herself in the city. GT’s boss suggested that she takes a long leave from her job. Yes, I fully agree with that. GT cannot survive for long under such stress.
  2. Emotional stress: What about emotional stress? GT admitted to having problems with her boy friend and she had broke off that relationship. But, she has a lump in her left breast — could it be due to a female rather than a male? GT admitted that a very close female friend had betrayed her. This had upset her very much but GT said that emotional stress has dissipated with time. I said this to GT: Learn to let go — don’t keep any ill feelings in your heart.
  3. Family support: Her parent’s home is about 4-hour-away by bullet train. Life must be hard for GT having to stay alone in a city without any family support. I suggested that GT go home and stay with her parents. She agreed.
  4. Diet: You can imagine what she eats everyday under the above situation. I can guess it cannot be healthy food every day. Unfortunately, the TCM doctor did not give good advice on this important matter. GT was told not to eat sea food and chilly. After much reading and receiving feed backs from our patients, I came to this conclusion: a) Don’t take anything that walks, including eggs and dairy products. b) No sugar c) No oily or fried foods d) Banana is bad for lung problems.
  5. Herbs bitter and awful taste: Our herbal teas are bitter and have awful taste. She needs to brew each of the teas. It takes time and effort. Will she be able to cope with that? I know most patients cannot!
  6. Monitoring: GT needs constant monitoring. After a month, I need to know how she progresses. Herbs need to adjusted. This means, GT may need to come and see me again. Or she needs to take more herbs after she finishes this first round of teas. Staying in China, how can we overcome this problem? Actually this is the problem facing most patients — even for those who live just a few hour’s drive from us. For such people, I never get to see them again after their first visit. What a waste of time and money.
  7. Financial burden: At CA Care, consultation, no matter how long it takes, is free of charge. However, we request patients to pay for the herbs. Since we started CA Care more than two decades ago, the price of our herbal teas never increase in price (in spite of the inflation). We try to be as charitable and helpful as we can. But, we understand that for GT, even flying to Penang from China cost her a lot of money. How nice if there is such a set up like CA Care in her own hometown! For GT, sad to say that I would probably not be able to see her again.

Comments

Not too long ago, I read two news reports about cancer treatment in China that make me feel real sad.

There is a movie, Dying to Survive, which has become a billion-yuan-success after being released in July this year. It is based on a  real-life story of  Lu Yong, a Chinese textile trader and leukemia patient. He imported less expensive generic drug from India and sold it to his fellow Chinese patients. Lu helped thousands of Chinese patients. Sadly, he was arrested and jailed in 2014 for doing such “illegal” activity.

This movie, Dying to Survive tells the same story in a more dramatic way.  It featured an owner of an Indian Miracle Oil Store — Cheng Yong —  who found out  that the Indian-made generic leukemia drug, Gleevec,  was sold at only 500 yuan in India. In China the authentic Gleevec is sold at 40,000 yuan, eighty times more expensive.

Lured by great profit, Cheng smuggled  the unlicensed drug to China and sold to Chinese patients at 2,000 yuan. He made good profit and he was also regarded as a hero by many cancer patients who can’t afford the original version of the expensive Gleevec. Looks like he is a real modern day Robin Hood.

Cheng became rich. He then decided to stop the drug smuggling business. He opened a garment factory. However  a large number of patients became desperate as they were forced to sell their houses or everything they have to pay for the expensive Gleevec. That prompted Cheng to change his heart, and renew his smuggling business. This time he even sold the drug only at just 500 yuan to save lives. Unfortunately, he was arrested and jailed for five years.

Note: Gleevec is developed by Novartis. In the US patients need to pay up to US$100,000 for the drug a year without government or insurance subsidy.

Source: http://www.ejinsight.com/20180710-why-social-drama-dying-to-survive-became-a-china-blockbuster/

https://edition.cnn.com/2018/07/18/asia/china-cancer-drug-movie-intl/index.html

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/chinese-cancer-movie-prompts-vow-of-cheap-drugs-wkcbn87qs

I got hit by another heart-breaking story. Tang is a 26-year-old doctor in Central China. He was diagnosed with oesophageal cancer, three years after graduating and starting to work. He underwent surgery to remove the tumour but declined further medical treatment.

In China, doctors like Tang, earn an average of 63,000 to 77,000 yuan (US$ 10,000 to 12,200) per year. Tang just could not afford to pay for the expensive, follow up medical treatments.

On day, Tang decided to mysteriously disappear from home. He left behind his bank cards and a letter to his parents saying they would end up having to “spend all your savings and even run into debt just for dragging out my miserable existence for a few years at best. If I let you face the financial burdens and the sorrow of losing a child in your late years, it would be a sin for which I should die a thousand times. I also don’t want to live like a near dead person for the rest of my life. So please forgive me … I’m an unworthy son, and I will pay back your love in my next life.”

Source: https://www.scmp.com/news/china/society/article/2141268/forgive-me-im-unworthy-son-chinese-doctor-tells-parents-after-he

After the above two stories, here I was sitting  in front of a 35-year-old lady from China who has breast cancer. I felt sad and frustrated. And this propels me to write this article.

What can we learn from these three stories?

  • The movie, Dying to Survive, has stirred discussion on the accessibility of cancer drugs and treatments in China. The original drug imported from the US are extremely expensive. But there are generic (or copy cat) drug from India which is much, much cheaper. But unfortunately smuggling cheaper drugs into China is illegal.
  • The movie has highlighted the exorbitant cost of healthcare. Not only in China, it is the same elsewhere in the developing countries. The cost of cancer drugs are being dictated by the “Cancer Establishment” of the developed nations.
  • The reality about cancer treatment is well understood by Tang, the 26-year-old cancer patient who is himself a medical doctor. After surgery, the next course of action generally is chemotherapy or/and radiotherapy. Based on his note to his parents — these treatments cost a lot of money. But will these treatments cure him? Unfortunately no.
  • Again in his note Tang explained to his parent the need to “spend all your savings and even run into debt just for dragging out my miserable existence for a few years at best. I also don’t want to live like a near dead person for the rest of my life.”
  • How many people understand what Tang wrote or understand the reality of the present day, medical cancer treatment? Cure is elusive — at best for some cancer you extend your life for another few months or years. From the experiences over the past two decades, I come to the conclusion that no one on earth can really CURE cancer. Read more here: https://badscienceblindtruth.wordpress.com/2018/09/18/there-is-no-cure-for-cancer/

Second, cancer treatment is expensive.

Third, the side effects of treatments are severe and “killing.” Is it worth it?

  • But, what bugs me most is this — does this need to happen in China?

I think there is NO reason to. Why can’t the Chinese develop a much cheaper method of healing cancer? Why is there a need to depend on the expensive medical drugs imported from the US or elsewhere? I believe China can come up with a novel healing method of treating cancer if the Chinese doctors, researchers and entrepreneurs are not obsessed with following what the Western world is doing. Don’t follow others, develop your own way!

  • For more than two decades, I have devoted my life to helping cancer patients by using herbs, diet and lifestyle changes. There is nothing new about this approach. Through the ages, the Chinese sages have been telling us about this.

To the old Chinese, Indian and those who live in east, we are brought up to understand this culture very well. Unfortunately, the younger generations who come after us have failed to learn that heritage. We live like there is no tomorrow and eat “bad, branded food” introduced by the Western world — as a result metabolic diseases like diabetes, heart problem and cancer are on the rise.

  • Yes, China has the wisdom about promoting healthy life. Yes, there is TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) in China but I think the way it is practised needs improvement!  The story as related by this 35-year-old breast cancer from China is indeed pathetic. From her story it is clear that she did NOT get the “proper advice” for her breast cancer. This could be the result of ignorance — either of her doctors or herself.
  • Over the past two decades I have helped thousands of cancer patients without having to use those expensive drugs from the Western world. The irony is that I first learned how to help cancer patients by studying TCM on my own. Since I don’t read Chinese, I had to rely on books written in English by non-Chinese authors. Oh, how I wish I can read Chinese! In spite of his handicap, we at CA Care have done extremely well. There are some 1,000 video clips about our work in YouTube. I have written more than 700 articles about cancer healing which you can read in my blog: CancerCareMalaysia.com

Here are a few examples of our work:

  1. Hopeless case of breast cancer  from Hong Kong: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IEDwOA1quB0&feature=share
  2. Colon-liver cancer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pQ2CGieWymY&feature=share
  3. Endometrial cancer from Australia: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=luVQRnlBW6Q&feature=share
  4. Melanoma-Lung: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AAMkkHcUe-k&feature=share
  5. Sarcoma: Don’t do chemo you die, you do chemo also die. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Lee1VM-LJw&feature=share
  6. Cancer of the Tonsil: I outlived my two doctors!: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ySYriEWVAVw&feature=share
  7. Lymphoma Twenty Years Ago. Still alive and healthy. Is that quackery and scientifically unproven?: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j-QuwXKEYfI&feature=share
  8. Ovarian-Lung Cancer: Told at most three months to live after surgery & chemo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j5VucBxPaMM&feature=share

If I can do this in Malaysia, why can’t the Chinese do the same in China. After all, my approach to managing cancer is based on the wisdom of the old Chinese healing masters. I started with a blank mind. Then I started to read and read and read about TCM. I used my “scientific mind” to select what are useful and leave out what I thought are dubious. In other words, I develop my own method. I don’t  blindly follow  the “standard procedures.”

If Jack Ma can make Alibaba into such a great success story, I am sure there are many others like him who can also do the same with cancer. I think the real problem is to apply the right knowledge. This unfortunately is not easy  — yes, there are many doctors, sinseh and researchers in China but are they really THINKERS and INNOVATORS who know how to apply their knowledge correctly? Or are they just following “cookbook” protocols when practising their trade?

One last word about working with cancer. Cancer treatment of today is more about making  money and much less about making the patients well. This is what the “Cancer Establishment” of the developed countries is all about. So beware.

Frances M. Visco, the president of the National Breast Cancer Coalition wrote:

  • Breast cancer patients are tired of “breakthrough” therapies that do not extend life for even a day but do bring millions of dollars to industry, medical institutions and the doctors who care for us … The answer is clear, just stop circling the wagons focusing on financial gain and fame.

Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/13/opinion/letters/doctors-conflicts-of-interest.html?em_pos=small&emc=edit_ty_20180914&nl=opinion-today&nl_art=12&nlid=54459356emc%3Dedit_ty_20180914&ref=headline&te=1

This is my basic principle I uphold right from the very beginning when I founded CA Care — to succeed we need dedication and compassion. If we go in there just for money — and only money — we would fail miserably. I am afraid in the Western world, cancer is indeed about money and making more money… that is why it fails so badly.

Read more here: https://badscienceblindtruth.wordpress.com/2018/09/18/cancer-is-a-money-making-industry/

Let us not forget what the Great Chinese Sage and Physician, Sun Simiao said,

  • Whenever eminent physicians treat an illness … they must be free of wants and desires, and they must first develop a heart full of great compassion and empathy. They must pledge to devote themselves completely to relieving the suffering of all sentient beings.

I believe there are enough “kind and generous souls” in China or in this part of the world who want to help their fellow citizens in need. Approach cancer treatment as a noble mission to help others in need.

Some random quick facts about cancer problem in China

  • China has a massive population of 1.37 billion. Cancer is the leading cause of death in China and is a major public health problem.
  • In China in 2015: estimated 4,292,000 new cancer cases and 2,814,000 cancer deaths. Lung cancer being the most common incident cancer and the leading cause of cancer death. Stomach, esophageal, and liver cancers were also commonly diagnosed and were identified as leading causes of cancer death.

Source: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/291830601_Cancer_Statistics_in_China_2015

  • China has an immense cancer problem. The most common types of cancer in males were those of the lung (21.7%), stomach (19.5%), and liver (18.1%). Source: Cancer Biol Med. 2012 Jun; 9(2): 128–132.
  • In China, cancer rates are exploding … Last year, more than four million people were diagnosed with the disease and nearly three million died from it. Every day, hundreds pour into (hospitals) from all over China. People wait months for a doctor’s appointment, but often it is too late for treatment and the cancer is too advanced.

Source: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-03-24/chinas-cancer-rates-exploding-study-says/7272266

  • Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in China … the cancer has increased at a rate of around 3.5% a year from 2000 to 2013, compared with a drop of 0.4% a yearover the same period in the US.
  • Breast cancer rates are higher in urban areas of China than in rural areas. And the higher the population density, the higher the rate.

Source: http://theconversation.com/whats-behind-the-huge-increase-in-breast-cancer-rates-in-china-84224

P/S: It is sad to note that this young lady, GT died about two weeks later.

 

 

 

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