TCVM in Cancer Patients
Carmela: Mast Cell Tumor
At the age of seven and half years of age, in October of 2015, a small mass was the size of a walnut was found at the base of Carmela’s ear in the area of the submandibular salivary glands. Surgical removal of the entire tumor was impossible, as the tumor had wrapped itself around the major blood vessels and nerves in the area. Biopsy results showed the tumor to be a Grade II Mast Cell Tumor. Upon reflection, the owner decided to go forward with Traditional Chinese Medicine via Chinese Herbal therapy to support Carmela’s immune system and quality of life.
In terms of TCM, the pattern diagnosis is Blood Stagnation in the Cervical Region, involving both Liver and Spleen Elements. Carmela’s herbal formulas included Stasis Breaker (Jing Tang), Stasis in the Mansion of Blood, and Five Mushroom Formula. Her tumor site remained quiet, with no signs of regrowth until July of 2016. A small tumor was palpated at the base of the ear. In the beginning of 2017, the tumor was visable, and between July of 2017 and September of 2017, the tumor’s growth increased in intensity, more than tripling in size. (Seen in picture). The tumor was enlarging at a rapid rate and was invading into the ear structures.
At the end of Sept 2017, almost two years from the initial surgery, we were forced to say goodbye to Carmela. Her appetite dropped, and she was acting tired. Carmela loved her food; this was not a good sign. Until that last week, she felt great, continued to wag her tail, willing and ready to go for her walks. She will be missed.
In October of 2012, Daisy was a happy go lucky dog one day and having an exploratory surgery the next. Surgical exploration revealed a bleeding mass in the area of her right kidney. Removing the entire tumor was impossible, and portions of the tumor remained. The histopathologist reported lymphangiosarcoma that was vascular in origin, meaning that it started growing directly from the blood vessels. Daisy’s owners elected not to pursue chemotherapy, deciding on Traditional Chinese Medicine, using Chinese Herbs and supportive care.
The TCVM pattern diagnosis was Blood Stasis in the Lower Jiao involving the Liver and Heart Elements. Her herbal medications included Yunnan BaiYao (to decrease bleeding), Stasis in the Lower Palace (to slow down the tumor growth in the abdomen), Wei Qi Booster (to boost the immune system against cancer), and Wu Gu Fang (a mushroom formula for anti-cancer effects).
Daisy remained stable with no issues regarding the incompletely removed tumor in her abdomen until March of 2014, almost a year and a half later, when she started to exhibit symptoms of pain. She went to surgery. As expected, a mass was present in the previous area. She recovered from surgery quickly, continuing with herbal treatments. Sadly, Daisy began exhibiting similar symptoms of pain and discomfort three months later. Instead of putting her through another debulking surgery, her owners elected to say good-bye.
Daisy lived almost two years after the diagnosis and incomplete removal the lymphangiosarcoma, without chemotherapy, happy, running, playing and enjoying life.