Abstract: In this study we blended both medical knowledge and technology with TCM’s meridian theory. All patients underwent a biopsy, mammogram or ultrasonography for their malignant breast lumps. Before undergoing further medical treatments, their meridians were measured using the AcuGraph 4.0. Our results showed that all women with malignant breast tumour had disharmony of their Bladder meridian. Generally this is low. Other meridians that are in disharmony are: Lung, Spleen, Liver, Small Intestine and Triple Energizer.
Chris K. H. Teo & Ch’ng Beng Im-Teo
CA Care, 5 Lebuhraya Gelugor, 11600 Penang, Malaysia.
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.
This article is a continuation of our study of meridian disharmonies in women who had breast lumps. In another article we confined our discussion to women with non-cancerous breast lumps. In this article, we report our results of women who had cancerous lumps.
Review of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Theory of Breast Cancer
A detailed review on this subject has been done in our two earlier articles. Suffice for us to point out that practitioners of TCM, have come to accept that six meridians – Stomach, Liver, Kidney, Lung, Pericardium and Spleen play a significant role in breast health (1). Of these six meridians, three meridians – Stomach, Liver, and Kidney – are the most important for maintaining breast health (2). Among the three meridians, Nan Lu and also Rau had claimed that Stomach meridian played the most single important role in breast cancer patients.
Patients who came to seek our advice were required to bring all their medical reports. We used the Jing-well points to evaluate their meridians with AcuGraph 4.0. At the time of acugraphing, patients have not undergone any medical treatment.
Patient 1 is a 61-year-old female. In March 2009, an ultrasound indicated two solid irregular nodules – 2 x 2.7 cm and 1 x 1.1 cm in the right breast. The nodules have features suggestive of malignancy. Patient refused to perform a biopsy. In that breast are benign calcifications but no discrete mass was seen.
Patient 2 is a 43-year-old female. In January 2011 she found a lump in her left breast. A CT scan indicated a tumour the size of a chicken egg. She was asked to go for surgery. She refused. She took various herbs from different sources. The lump grew bigger. She came to seek our help in October 2011 and we advised her to go for surgery.
Patient 3 is a 65-year-old female. She had a 50 x 38 x 52 mm mass in her left breast. FNAC of her lump indicated malignant cells indicative of infiltrating ductal carcinoma. She underwent a mastectomy. Histopathology report indicated:
- Infiltrating ductal carcinoma, State 3B.
- Size of the lesion: 45 mm.
- Axillary lymph nodes – 5/10 infected with metastatic ductal carcinoma.
- Tissue negative for ER and PR, but positive for e-erbB2.
Patient 4 is a 73-year-old female. In mid-2011, she found a lump in her left breast. Subsequent examination by a doctor indicated a lump of about 3 cm in size. She came to seek our help. We advised her to go for surgery. A mammogram showed calcification – 7 x 4 cm at the upper quadrant of her left breast – mostly carcinoma. Patient subsequently underwent a mastectomy. The results indicated:
- Infiltrating ductal carcinoma of the left breast.
- Associated lesion: fibrocystic disease.
- Tissue negative for ER and PR but positive for e-erbB2.
- Size of lesion: 55 mm
- In situ component: DCIS, 50%
- Left axillary lymph nodes: free of metastatic cancer, sinus histiocytosis (8/8).
Patient 5 is 44-year-old female. About two years ago she felt a lump in her right arm pit. She was asked to undergo an operation but refused. She took sour soup teas and the lump grew bigger. USG of her right breast indicated a 41.1 x 28.7 x 32.1 mm solid mass showing characteristics consistent with clinical impression of a carcinoma. Her blood test results showed most parameters were within normal range: ESR = 2, CAE = 2.14, CA15.3 = 104. However, her liver function test was not good. GGT = 202.26 (High), ALT = 90.5 (high) and AST = 58.91 (high). She came to seek our advice. We told her to see a doctor and go for surgery. She refused.
Table 1: Summary of the measurements of the twelve meridians in women with malignant breast tumours.
Table 2. Meridian disharmony patterns in five women with malignant breast tumours.
Table 2 indicates the following:
- One hundred percent of women with malignant breast tumours showed disharmony of their Bladder meridian. Three out of 5 women has low BL meridian energy.
- Eighty percent of women with malignant breast tumours showed disharmony of their Lung, Small Intestine, Triple Energy, Spleen, and Liver meridians.
- Sixty percent of women with malignant breast tumour showed disharmony of their Pericardium, Heart, and Kidney meridians.
- Forty percent of women with malignant breast tumours showed disharmony of their Large Intestine, Gallbladder and Stomach meridians.
There is no distinct “belt block” phenomenon among the five women studied. However, Patient 1 seems to have a tendency towards this phenomenon.
Our results show all women with malignant breast tumours had Bladder meridian disharmony. Generally this is low. Other meridians that are in disharmony are: Lung, Spleen, Liver, Small Intestine and Triple Energizer.
Our results are at odd with established ideas which say that the Stomach, Liver and Kidney meridians play the most significant role in breast malignancy. However, if we look at another perspective, the stomach is related to the Spleen, and the Kidney is related to the Bladder, we are all back to square one. Perhaps we are talking about the same thing then!
When studying and researching alternative medicines one can’t help but realize a distinct difference in the way knowledge is accumulated – or one wonders if “new” acknowledge is ever accumulated at all. In science and modern medicine, ideas and theories change with time as more observations are made. In alternative medicine we hang on to established ideas and keep on quoting our past “masters.” Being of Chinese descent ourselves, we understand the need to respect our elders – to accept with reverence what they say or teach. But such attitude does not encourage creativity and advancement of knowledge. Sometimes, with much respect we beg to differ for the sake of seeking knowledge.
We would like to believe that with new technology available at our disposal, we can make use of it to further evaluate established ideas. The case in point is the evaluation of the meridians using the AcuGraph or whatever digital imaging devices there are. Let us assume than such a device is reliable, then it would provide an opportunity for us to research, reevaluate or fine tune theories that were handed over to us hundreds of years ago.
People “on the other side of the fence” would like to see data to support what we are talking about. In this age, reciting theories without any supporting evidence will not do.
In this study we blended both medical knowledge and technology with TCM’s meridian theory – let the data speak for themselves.
- Nan Lu, A Woman’s Guide to Healing from Breast Cancer. 1990. Avons Books, New York.