TCM vs Chemotherapy: Chinese actress's death sparks social debate

TCM vs Chemotherapy: Chinese actress's death sparks social debate

"I know that chemotherapy is extremely painful, and is a process that can even speed up my death."

Is traditional Chinese medicine really a better choice as compared to Chemotherapy? TCM or chemotherapy? The debate has been going on for so long and last September, the death of Chinese actress Xu Ting raised eyebrows on the issue once again.

Xu Ting was reportedly diagnosed with Lymphoma, a kind of cancer that affects your immune system. In favour of TCM, she reportedly rejected Chemotherapy treatment stating that she had seen the damages that the latter had done to her friends.

TCM consists of treatments such as acupuncture, cupping and gua sha, in which the skin is scraped with a smooth tool.

“I know that chemotherapy is extremely painful, and is a process that can even speed up my death,” she wrote on her Weibo page, adding that she didn’t want to “let chemotherapy torment me to the point where there’s no beauty and talent left”.

tcm or chemotherapy

The marks left from cupping. Image – screengrab, The Straits Times.

On her 24 July post, she uploaded a photo of her back covered with cupping marks and her undergoing jiu sha, a folk remedy that involves repeated pinching, usually of the neck and back, to increase blood circulation.

“When it hurts, I’ll joke with the nurses so that I can bear the pain.”

According to The Straits Times, her treatments did not seem to work and her younger sister had finally convinced her to switch to chemo. She states: “She was cheated by so many cheats that she’s only turned to chemo now.”

But it was too late. 

Her death has seen ignited a debate on social media about the causes and effects of choosing TCM over chemotherapy, and vice versa, according to the BBC and Chinese media, reports The Straits Times. 

Also, the idea of mixing the two together is not encouraged.

Although there are several websites indicating that the pain of chemo can be decreased by using TCM, Tan Tock Seng Hospital has stated that “mixing both types of medicine may dull effects of the cancer treatment”

They added that the effects of Western and Chinese medicine may contradict each other, so taking both at the same time can, for example, dull the effects of the cancer treatment.

*Always check with a professional before embarking on any kind of medical treatment. 

Mummies, what are your thoughts on this topic? Do share them with us!

Source: The Straits Times

Image credit: (The Straits Times screengrab)

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