文章
杏林專欄. > 臨床腫瘤專科 > 陳亮祖醫生 > How blending Western and traditional Chinese medicine can boost cancer treatment in Hong Kong

How blending Western and traditional Chinese medicine can boost cancer treatment in Hong Kong

27-05-2019

How blending Western and traditional Chinese medicine can boost cancer treatment in Hong Kong

27/05/2019

When his doctor told him that the sharp pain in his back was stage four lung cancer, Rocky Yiu, 57, could not bring himself to ask how long he had left to live. “It felt pointless asking because they practically gave me a death sentence,” he says.

Five years on, Yiu’s battle continues, aided by traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), which he believes has helped slow the spread of the disease.

The number of people diagnosed with cancer in Hong Kong is increasing every year, partly due to an ageing population. In 2016, according to the Hong Kong Cancer Registry under the Hospital Authority, 31,468 new cancer cases were diagnosed locally, while 14,209 Hongkongers lost their lives to the city’s No 1 killer.

Medical experts believe that, when used correctly, TCM might be more ideal than Western treatments for some, and it can play a complementary role in treating the condition for others. This has led to calls for more collaboration involving both forms of medicine.

Although Yiu had received 25 rounds of electrotherapy, nine months’ worth of targeted therapy and four cycles of chemotherapy, all failed to shrink the tumour in his lung.

By the time he completed the fourth cycle of chemotherapy, the tumour had grown from 5cm to 8cm. Yiu stopped all Western medical treatment, but continued with TCM, which he had been using to manage the side effects of the cancer treatment.

“Targeted therapy left my skin so sensitive that I couldn’t use warm water in the shower, not even during winter. TCM helped reduce the sensitivity, and also helped me manage the pain, constipation and tingling sensations from Western treatments,” he says.

During a check-up in 2016, six months after he discontinued chemotherapy, his doctor noticed that the growth had shrunk back to 5cm. Yiu credits TCM with the good news.

Although his prognosis still looks bleak – the cancer has spread, causing him pain in his bones and constipation – he says TCM has kept the more dire consequences of his illness in check.

Yiu’s TCM practitioner Tina Lee, who works at Tung Wah Hospital, says that because his cancer was advanced, her treatment plan was to help him improve his quality of life, and to counter some of the toxins left from the chemotherapy and targeted therapy.

“TCM is about promoting overall health, disease prevention, and boosting the body’s ability to heal to achieve harmony and balance,” Lee explains.

“But TCM has its limitations. We can’t determine whether a person has cancer just by taking their pulse or asking them a few questions. Patients are always diagnosed by Western medical methods, such as blood tests, biopsies and scans.”

Dr Liu Yulong, principal lecturer at the Baptist University’s School of Chinese Medicine, adds: “We wouldn’t encourage patients to rely solely on TCM for cancer, unless they are very old or too weak to endure conventional cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy.”

Liu says TCM could help some patients complete their Western treatment as planned. “TCM can help them manage their side effects so they can finish their cycles on time, which is essential to recovery.”

Dr Chan Leung-cho, a specialist in clinical oncology, agrees. He says TCM can help relieve nerve problems and dry mouth resulting from chemotherapy.

Chan and Liu both practise at the Hong Kong Anti-Cancer Society Dr and Mrs Michael S.K. Mak Integrated Chemotherapy Centre, which has been offering integrated Chinese and Western services since 2012. Both doctors have served some 400 patients.

Chan believes clear and direct communication between TCM practitioners and doctors is key to designing a successful integrated treatment plan for patients.

“Doctors of Western medicine are often worried something might go wrong if their patients also take TCM because they don’t know much about it – I don’t either. And patients may not be able to properly convey the kinds of treatment they’re undergoing.”

While Chan warns that patients can run serious risks if they withhold information about their TCM treatment from doctors, both he and Liu agree that Hongkongers could benefit from more direct collaboration between TCM and Western medicine.

In 2014, the Food and Health Bureau launched the Integrated Chinese-Western Medicine Pilot Project to study the operations at government hospitals.

The findings of the programme would help officials formulate the model for the city’s first Chinese medicine hospital, which is expected to open in late 2024.

“We want to show patients that integrated medicine can help them, and convince sceptical Western doctors that TCM can help their patients.

“It’s not about choosing sides, but what we can do for patients,” Liu says.

Yiu’s TCM practitioner Lee says she thinks this could also help patients identify trustworthy TCM practitioners, instead of turning to expensive and unlicensed healers.

“On the mainland, there are many hospitals with integrated Western and Chinese medical services. I think Hong Kong should follow its example.”

As for Yiu, he is trying to find hope in the time he has left.

“Sometimes I get better, which gives me hope. Then the pain comes back. I know it’s too much to ask for a miracle. All I can do now is treat every day as a reward.”

 

原文: 南華早報

陳亮祖醫生

( 臨床腫瘤專科 )

城中活動

2020-08-04 2:00 pm (延期) 強身健體八段錦
2020-07-18 2:00 pm (活動取消) 手語初體驗

疑難排解

會員註冊


或許你會想看
(運動與癌症訪問) 一個永遠不倒的抗癌騎士 。受訪嘉賓︰David (G5)
一個永遠不倒的抗癌騎士 受訪嘉賓︰David 採訪者︰香港浸會大學綜合傳播管理學 ~ 第五組 十天千里的單車環台長征,由台灣癌症關懷基金會協辦的「吾癌無礙癌友單車環島活動」於2019年10月29日順利劃下句點,十數名「單車騎士」的港[...]
(運動與癌症訪問) 因癌症,進步成更懂得生活的人 。受訪嘉賓︰Ann (G4)
因癌症,進步成更懂得生活的人 受訪嘉賓︰Ann 採訪者︰香港浸會大學綜合傳播管理學 ~ 第四組 癌症,讓人聯想到痛苦不堪的化療和電療。從Ann身上,卻看到一位在患癌後,靠著運動和家人的支持,由平凡母親進化成一位多才多藝,以生命影響生[...]
(運動與癌症訪問) 人生沒有回頭路。 受訪嘉賓︰Sindy (G3)
人生沒有回頭路 受訪嘉賓︰Sindy 採訪者︰香港浸會大學綜合傳播管理學 ~ 第三組 多年來,乳癌一直是本港女性常見的癌症,不但生長速度快,而且復發率高。透過癌症資訊網慈善基金牽線,我們接觸了其中一位HER2型乳癌的康復者 — — [...]
(運動與癌症訪問)樂觀面對乳癌 運動改變一生 。受訪嘉賓︰陳妙霞 (G2)
樂觀面對乳癌 運動改變一生 受訪嘉賓︰陳妙霞 採訪者︰香港浸會大學綜合傳播管理學 ~ 第二組 [人物專訪] ​對於很多人來說,癌症是魔鬼。 如果不幸遇到它,心裏會感到很害怕,會不知所措,更甚者會想到死亡。當陳妙霞於2018年7月確診[...]
(運動與癌症訪問) 當她遇上乒乓球時…… 受訪嘉賓︰Juju (G1)
當她遇上乒乓球時…… 受訪嘉賓︰Juju 採訪者︰香港浸會大學綜合傳播管理學 ~ 第一組 juju曾是一位朝九晚五的會計,本是家庭支柱,於2015年1月確診患上肺癌,暫停工作踏上抗癌的路程。她由2017年開始[...]
下一個十年
下一個十年 十數年前,一班癌症同路人活躍於網誌,在抗癌路上互相支持,他們的故事成就了我們第一本同路人分享集——《癌症不是盡頭》,也是「癌症資訊網」成立的重要基礎。 今年我們將會推出《下一個十年》,再次邀請一班認識多年的戰友,分享他們[...]
乳眾不同-我為何需要接受延伸輔助治療?(李孔敏醫生)
乳眾不同 我為何需要接受延伸輔助治療?   早期乳癌的治療離不開根治性手術,並按病情需要來決定是否需要輔助化療和放射治療,以及它們的先後次序;更重要的是根據乳癌的分子分類來搭配不同的針對性藥物,例如荷爾蒙受體陽性型(HR+[...]
乳眾不同 – 強化延伸輔助治療 降HR+ HER2+乳癌復發風險 (梁廣泉醫生)
乳眾不同 強化延伸輔助治療 降HR+ HER2+乳癌復發風險 乳癌是女士們的夢魘。雖然近年乳癌的治療愈見精準,治療效果也愈見理想,惟仍有一定程度的復發風險。不少乳癌患者在完成治療後,仍活在復發的陰霾底下;身體復原了,心理壓力卻不輕。[...]
乳眾不同 – 乳癌患者的噩夢-復發與腦轉移 (黎詠宇醫生)
乳眾不同 乳癌患者的噩夢-復發與腦轉移 乳房是最具女性象徵意義的身體組織,婦女一旦患上乳癌,對其身心皆會帶來莫大的衝擊。猶幸若能在早期發現,其五年存活率高達90%以上。然而,許多乳癌患者在完成治療後,仍常常擔心癌症會否復發。如何才能[...]
老爸 : 不要問,只要做
老爸 : 不要問,只要做 癌症資訊網自說自話專欄,今期嘉賓 : 老吳先生。 (18-6-2020 癌症資訊網修訂版) 我係老吳,我老婆阿鬧叫我肥佬。成世人日日對住她日日搵到瑣碎事鬧我,不過早已習以為常。她一直以為自己好聰明樣樣精,日[...]
乳眾不同 – 乳癌治療精準如鑰匙 根治防復發同樣重要 (張天怡醫生)
乳眾不同 乳癌治療精準如鑰匙 根治防復發同樣重要 乳癌長期高踞本港女性十大常見癌症的第一位。香港癌症資料統計中心的數據顯示,乳癌的發病數字在過去二十年按年遞增,2017年共有4,373宗新症。話雖如此,隨著醫學界對乳癌的認識日益加深[...]
擔當守護病患的牧羊人 活出不一樣的節奏人生
擔當守護病患的牧羊人 活出不一樣的節奏人生 癌症資訊網慈善基金榮譽顧問潘智文醫生專訪 「未知死,焉知生。」踏入腫瘤科超過二十年的潘智文醫生細說, 「只要你學會死亡,你就學會活著。」   人生中生命之長短,猶如大自然的規律,[...]