Meridian Disharmony Patterns in Breast Cancer Patients

Abstract:  AcuGraph readings of breast cancer patients showed three distinct meridian disharmony patterns among them. In disharmony pattern one, there was a belt block with energy concentrating in the upper half of body.  In disharmony pattern two, there wass no belt block and the energy was concentrated around the centre of body. In disharmony pattern three, there was a belt block with energy concentrating in the lower half of body.  The disharmony pattern presented by each patient was independent of the medical treatments she had received.

Chris K. H. Teo & Ch’ng Beng Im-Teo

CA Care, 5 Lebuhraya Gelugor, 11600 Penang, Malaysia.

www.cacare.com  or  www.CancerCareMalaysia.com

Declaration of Interest:  CA Care records its sincere thanks to Dr. Adrian Larsen, President of Miridia Technology Inc., USA, for his generosity in donating a unit of AcuGraph 4 for our research at CA Care. We receive no financial incentive whatsoever from Miridia Technology for writing this article. Consultation and acugraphing at CA Care are provided to cancer patients free of charge.

Copyright: This is an open-access journal and the reproduction of this article in any medium for educational purposes is allowed provided the original work is properly cited. The use of this article for commercial purposes, however, requires our prior permission.

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Introduction

Perspective of Medical Science

Breast cancer is a collective name for a group of different types of malignant breast diseases. Some names seem familiar to many people because they are common while others are rarely heard.

  1. Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS).
  2. Lobular carcinoma in situ.
  3. Invasive (or infiltrating) ductal carcinoma – the most common type of breast cancer.
  4. Invasive (or infiltrating) lobular carcinoma (ILC).

The less common types of breast cancer are (1,2):

  1. Inflammatory breast cancer.
  2. Triple-negative breast cancer.
  3. Mixed tumors breast cancer.
  4. Medullary carcinoma.
  5. Metaplastic carcinoma.
  6.  Mucinous carcinoma.
  7. Paget disease of the nipple.
  8. Tubular carcinoma.
  9. Papillary carcinoma.
  10. Adenoid cystic carcinoma (adenocystic carcinoma).
  11.  Phyllodes tumor.
  12.  Angiosarcoma.
  13. Lymphoma of the breast.
  14. Basal type breast cancer.

Based on immunohistochemical markers, Fiona Blows et al (4), identified six subtypes of breast cancers that are biologically distinct and each of them behaves differently (see chart below).

Chart from Fiona Blows et al. (4).

Cancer can originate from any of the following breast tissues (4):

  • Milk ducts. Ductal carcinoma is the most common type of breast cancer.
  • Milk-producing lobules. Lobular carcinoma starts in the lobules of the breast, where breast milk is produced.
  • Connective tissues. Rarely breast cancer begins in the connective tissue that’s made up of muscles, fat and blood vessels. Cancer that begins in the connective tissue is called sarcoma, as in phyllodes tumor and angiosarcoma.

Perspective of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)

While medical science provides us with the “anatomical / structural” understanding of breast cancer, it is left to TCM to try and explain what could give rise to breast cancer.  In 1617, Chen Shigong wrote that breast cancer results from anxiety, emotional depression and over-thinking. These impair the Liver, Spleen and Heart causing obstruction to their meridians (5).

Zu Dan Xi of the Yuan Dynasty wrote that “worry, anger and depression cause accumulation.  Spleen Qi is weakened, Liver Qi free flow fails, there is a hidden nodule formed like an egg without pain or itching; after several years it forms an ulcer and it is called Ru Yan. It looks like an ulcer on the surface and is like a stone in a cavity, it cannot be treated “(6).

Three major meridians, Liver, Stomach and Kidney, control breast health. Since the Liver controls the Stomach, any irregularity in the Liver’s energy will naturally affect how well the Stomach functions.  Based on today’s statistics, about 50 percent of breast cancers occur in the upper right quadrant of the breast—an area that correlates exactly where the Stomach meridian runs (7).  It is suggested that Liver Qi Stagnation is the mechanism primarily responsible for the development of breast lumps (8).

Meridians associated with the breasts are:

  1. The Stomach channel goes over the breasts.
  2. Liver meridian goes over the sides of the breast and specifically influences the nipples.
  3. The Chong Mai vessel scatters over the chest and it represents the meridian connecting the Uterus (where it starts) and the breasts.  When there is disharmony of this meridian in the Lower Burner (with Blood deficiency or Kidney deficiency) very often it causes Qi to rebel upwards to disturb the chest and cause stagnation of Qi in the chest and breasts. This is a major factor in the development of breast lumps.
  4. The Gallbladder meridian goes over the breasts.
  5. Both the Pericardium and Heart meridians go over the breasts. This highlights the physiological connection between emotional factors affecting the Heart and Pericardium and breast lumps.

 

AcuGraph Study of Breast Cancer Patients

Every patient who comes to our CA Care centre will have his/her AcuGraph reading done without charge. Over a period of time, we have taken readings of 41 breast cancer patients.  The patients are classified into three groups.

Group 1 consisted of those who had not yet undergone any medical treatment.

Group 2 consisted of those who had only undergone surgery.

Group 3 consisted of those who had undergone surgery, chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy.

The AcuGraph readings showed three distinct meridian disharmony patterns among them (Table 1). Our data seems to indicate that the disharmony pattern presented by each patient was independent of the medical treatments she had received.

Table 1: Disharmony patterns of 41 breast cancer patients.

1. Disharmony Pattern 1 – belt block with energy concentrating in the upper half of body

Fourteen of the 41 patients (or 34 percent) showed belt block with the energy concentrating in the upper half of the body (Figure 1).  Out of these 14 patients, 3 did not receive any treatment yet, 4 had surgery only and 7 patients received the standard medical treatments such as surgery, chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy.

Figure 1. Right breast cancer, refused biopsy and surgery.

2. Disharmony Pattern 2 – energy concentrating around the centre of body

Eleven of the 41 patients (or 27percent) had their qi energy concentrating in around the centre of the body (Figure 2).  Out of these 11 patients, 3 did not receive any treatment yet, 5 had surgery only and 3 patients received the standard medical treatments such as surgery, chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy.

Figure 2. Ductal carcinoma of the left breast, with no treatment yet.

3. Disharmony Pattern 3 – belt block with energy concentrating in the lower half of body

Sixteen of the 41 patients (or 39 percent) showed belt block with the energy concentrating in the lower half of the body (Figure 3). Out of these 16 patients, 4 did not receive any treatment, 5 had surgery only and 7 patients  received the standard medical treatments such as surgery, chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy.

Figure 3. Left breast cancer with no treatment at all.

Discussion

In an excellent review of the etiology of breast cancer, Maciocia (6) stressed that emotional problems are by far the most important cause of breast cancer. Worry, pensiveness, sadness, bitter weeping, anger, frustration, resentment, hatred, repressed anger and guilt can all cause stagnation of Qi which in the long run may lead to Blood stasis and eventually forms masses. When Qi is stagnant over a long period of time, it may also implode to cause Fire and Toxic Heat.

Stagnation of Qi comes from the Liver, Heart and Lung.  Qi stagnation may also be the consequence of a deficiency of Liver and Kidney affecting the Ren Mai and Chong Mai vessels.  Disharmony of the Ren Mai and the Chong Mai vessels after the menopause results from cessation of the periods, causing a relative imbalance between the top and bottom parts of the body. The Lower Burner is deficient in Blood and Essence so that the Qi of the Chong Mai may rebel upwards and cause stagnation above.

The Chong Mai vessel originates from the Uterus and connects with the breasts. There is a saying, the Uterus is the lower source of milk and the breast is the upper source of Blood. Thus the drying up of Blood and Essence below may cause stagnation in the breasts and lead to lumps.

Indeed the problems that lead to breast cancer are many and they interact in a rather complex manner.  From the AcuGraph study I realize it is no easy task trying to reconcile TCM theories with the AcuGraph results obtained. It would take a lot more effort and dedication if anything meaningful comes out from this study.  We plan to write more on this subject in the future!

References

  1. http://www.cancer.org/cancer/breastcancer/detailedguide/breast-cancer-what-is-breast-cancer
  2. http://cancerhelp.cancerresearchuk.org/type/breast-cancer/about/types/
  3. Fiona M. Blows et al. http://www.plosmedicine.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pmed.1000279
  4. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/breast-cancer/HQ00348
  5. Shi Lanling & Shi Peiquan. Experience of treating cancers with Traditional Chinese Mediicine. 1989.Shandong Science and Technology Press, China.
  6. Giovanni Maciocia. 1998. Obstetrics and Gynecology in Chinese Medicine. Churchill Livingstone, New York.
  7. http://www.breastcancer.com/lifestylechanges.html
  8. http://johalhealth.squarespace.com/breast-lumps/
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In obedience to God's will and counting on His mercies and blessings, and driven by the desire to care for one another, we seek to provide help, direction and relief to those who suffer from cancer.

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