Preventing Breast Cancer the Traditional Chinese Medicine Way

The National Cancer Institute estimates that 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime.  So what alternatives does Chinese medicine offer for breast cancer prevention?

When we consider cancer in Chinese medicine, we characterize tumors as an accumulation of stagnant Qi and Blood, and usually phlegm and dampness, that has become very dense. This long-standing mass of static Blood builds up heat over time due to the lack of free flow – so much heat that it damages the surrounding tissue.

We call this toxic heat or heat toxicity. This is typically allowed to happen against a backdrop of inherent Qi deficiency, meaning the immune function is too weak to break up these clumps of toxic heat and Blood, ie. cancer cells.

The breasts are governed by the Liver, with the Liver Meridian passing directly through the breast tissue. As you may know, the Liver is the organ responsible for ensuring free flow of Qi and Blood through the Meridians, and so dysfunction of the Liver leads to Qi stagnation.

The Liver meridian itself is particularly susceptible to stagnation – that is why women experience breast tenderness or develop (temporary) breast lumps during their premenstrual period.

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