Cancer is the second most common cause of death in the U.S., accounting for nearly 1 in every 4 deaths. As a cancer specialist in acupuncture and Chinese medicine with extensive work experience in both China and the U.S., I have seen many cancer patients. For anyone with cancer or knows someone who has, I offer the following tips.

Have a Positive Attitude: Cancer does not mean death. Even after being diagnosed, don’t feel that it is the end of the world. Patients should try to be positive and get treated by their oncologist and acupuncturist. Some cancers can be cured when they are in their early stages. Most of them can be brought to complete remission and kept well under control. In addition, positive attitude strengthens the immune system, so the body can fight cancer.

Use Acupuncture as a Supporting Treatment: Generally the conventional treatment for cancer is surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. Unfortunately, all of these treatments deplete the body and patients suffer strong side effects. Here is where acupuncture and Chinese medicine comes to play. Treatments help patients cope with the negative side effects: nausea, fatigue, and depression. I have experience helping patients endure the side effects. Acupuncture soothes their digestive system, strengthens Qi (energy), calms the mind, and helps the body recover from the invasive procedures. For example, acupuncture at point PC6 significantly reduces nausea and vomiting.

Improve Quality of Life: Patients with late stage cancer will get palliative treatment from their oncologists. At this point, oncologists often recommend patients receive alternative treatments. With acupuncture and herbs, I can relieve pain and discomfort. Some patients live longer than expected and some even get complete remission!

Hope for Survival: When there is no treatment offered by Western medicine for difficult to treat cancers, acupuncture and Chinese herbs are the hope for survival. I have a 70-year-old patient who was diagnosed a rare type of small intestinal sarcoma that no standard chemotherapy treatment can treat. She has been taking Chinese herbs and getting acupuncture regularly. Her condition has been very stable and she has outlived her life expectancy predicted by her doctor. She is still alive and in stable condition for more than 6 years!

I hope this article will help you understand that cancer is manageable even in the terminal stage, and acupuncture and Chinese herbs are viable options.