Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Lung Cancer (Oriental Medicine View)


General information

– The cancer common in developed countries

Two direct factors that cause lung cancer are smoking and pollution thar are nothing unusual and easily found in any countries nowadays. Men are reportedly four times riskier in getting the disease than women. Because there are not many symptoms detected in early stage, the rate of perfect cure is relatively low.

Even when detected early, it shows 20% less than the other types of cancer in cure rate. The reason is that it’s impossible to perform some operations to more than 50% of patients whose cancer cells are already spread to other part of the body.

– The least possibility of perfect cure among the cancers

Lung cancer is classified along the two pulmonary area: one near bronchi(25%), the other around the edge of lung accounting for 75% of the cases. Despite the fact that current medical technology is day by day developing, when it is beyond the second stage, one’s life is already in critical phase. When in the first stage(showing 78% of perfect cure rate), the size of cancer cells are relatively small and they are located only on lung without being transmitted to lymph nodes; in the second stage(showing 50% of perfect cure rate), the cells are getting bigger and transmitted further; in the third stage(showing 13% of perfect cure rate), the cells are spread to heart, spine, bronchi, or the fourth to liver, brain and kidney.

The causes

The reasons of lung cancer are not specified yet, but judging from the higher rate among the developed countries, factors are thought to be like pollution in air and from radioactivity materials.

– Smoking

No one can deny that smoking is the first and foremost factor of lung cancer. A recent study reported that the carcinogenic materials in cigarette demolish P53, the tumor inhibiting gene that powerfully deter the changes of normal cells to cancer cells, thereby causing many kinds of cancers.

The person whose smoking indicator(the number of daily smoking cigarettes × the total years of smoking) is over 600 is considered in highly critical stage. People who smoke everyday is 4.5 times riskier than who does not; those who started smoking under the age of 20 is more than 6 times riskier; those who smoke more than two packs a day 10 to 15 times riskier; the riskiest case is those who started smoking in their teens and breathe in deeply when smoking.

– Indirect Smoking

Even in a less degree, indirect smoking is also one of the main causes of lung cancer. Those in this case show 1.5 times riskier than who is not. There exist only 10 to 20% of factors that are related to lung cancer other than smoking.

– Asbestos and Rope, etc.

There are many kinds of material that can cause lung cancer: asbestos, chloride vinyl, lead, chrome, nickel, cadmium, uranium, etc. Among these, asbestos, though harmless in itself, can make the body susceptible to carcinogenic factors. There are reportedly many lung cancer patients whose job is related to the materials like asbestos and rope.

– Urban Residents

It is a well known fact that air pollution can also cause lung cancer. A source from WHO says that urban people are 2.6 times vulnerable to the disease than those living in rural areas.

The Symptoms

In early stage, there doesn’t seem any particular or stimulating symptoms to be found. Although sometimes chronic dry cough can eventually be proven to be the cancer, most cases don’t be found until the patient take some medical tests.

– When coughing lasts more than two weeks…

Getting regular check-ups is highly required to those who smoke habitually or work in the conditions that can easily cause the cancer. Coughing is the mostly related to one of the early symptoms of lung cancer. The reason that patients of lung cancer cough is that tumor irritates inner membrane of bronchi or clogs it. Therefore, if coughing lasts more than two weeks, it may be doubted as the cancer. Phlegm mixed with blood can also be a foreboding symptom of lung cancer.

– Husky voice and resonating cough

When it advanced further, some mixed symptoms appear other than the disorders of stomach. The symptoms in the stage follows: dull pain on chest or back can be felt; light fever lasts over a month; voice gets husky and the sound of cough is ringing.


Numerous studies and researches have been poured on the cure of lung cancer; there hasn’t been any perfectly effective outcomes so far. Like other types of cancers, early detection is most important for lung cancer, but not all the cases can 100% be cured even in that period. Therefore, prevention is the best cure.

– Operation

Arsenical basal cell carcinoma which accounts for 80% of lung cancer are treated depending on the following conditions: how big is the lump, whether it spread or transmitted to other organs, how further it infiltrated to the lymphatic gland. There are no other choices other than operation; operation itself cannot fully guarantee the full recovery.

60% of above patients is in the conditions that the cancer cell spread to other organs or the functions of lung are too weakened to get any kinds of operation; for another 10 to 15% of them, excision can’t be made; for only 20% of them, the operation is possible, but due to the local and remote recurrence, only 5% of them can survive for about 5 years.

– Chemical and radiation therapies

Small cell carcinoma is made in the middle of lung, but in most cases it is already transmitted to lymph nodes or other organs when detected. This is the reason that no matter how small the lump is in that stage, it’s hard to treat it by operation. Therefore, chemical therapy like anti cancer drugs or radiation therapy are the only ways to turn to. When the cancer area is limited to only in the chest, the survival rate is 10%(2 years); when spread to other areas, the rate is under 2%.


– Quit smoking!

As smoking is getting known as the main factor that causes lung cancer, some people say its prevention is possible. That is to say, to quit smoking is no doubt the best way to avoid the lethal disease.

A study done in 1988 reported that 3 years after a woman who puffed a pack a day quit smoking, the probability of getting lung cancer fell down nearly to 12.5%.

Considering the proven fact that about 40% cancers is from smoking, no wonder it’s mandatory to quit it.

– Vitamin A

Intake of fruits and vegetables at table can lessen the probability of getting cancer up to 50%. This is what vitamin A is for. In a clinical test, it was proved that vitamin A can toughen the immune system and also cleanse free oxygen agent in the body thereby keeping it from getting cancer.


Question: Does quitting it directly mean the total cleansing of cancer agents in the body?

Answer: Although there has not been any specified results about their correlation, it is estimated that it takes approximately 10 years to completely expel the toxic agents accumulated during the smoking period even after quitting.

Question: How risky is the indirect smoking?

Answer: Carcinogenic materials come out mostly(85%) when a cigarette gets just lit. More telling is that children whose both parents smoke are six times riskier of getting cancer.

Question: Is lung cancer transmitted?

Answer: No, it isn’t. Cancer is not a transmittable disease. It is only made and transformed inside the human body.

Question: Can tubercle cause cancer?

Answer: It doesn’t necessarily. However, for the tubercle patients whose lung is severely weakened, any operations for the disease is far more difficult to be made.

Wang Wei
Wang Wei is a holistic health practitioner in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)

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