Cancer Care

     According to the World Health Organization (WHO), over 10 million individuals are diagnosed with cancer each year, and the number is rising. Despite extensive research and advanced chemotherapeutic drugs, cancer continues to claim many lives and affect all ages, races, and genders.

     Treatment of tumors was discussed in early Chinese medical writings.  However, without the advanced technological equipment available today, tumors were found only after they became large enough to feel. In China today, Western techniques and Chinese medicine are often integrated when treating cancer.  Many cancer centers in the United States are now including acupuncture and other forms of Chinese medicine in their treatment programs.

     Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) includes the use of Chinese herbal medicine, acupuncture, moxibustion, Qi Gong, and diet therapy. Main roles these play in the treatment of cancer are to enhance the immune system and prevent and/or alleviate side effects such as pain and nausea due to surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. Chinese herbal medicine can support the vital Qi (energy) of the body. Various herbs can clear heat and toxicity, increase circulation of the blood and soften hardness and lumps. Certain herbs have been found to help increase the number of blood cells, which are often reduced due to cancer therapy.  Integrating TCM into the cancer management strategy may significantly increase the ability of patients to withstand the side effects of Western drugs, radiation, and chemotherapy.  TCM may also improve quality of life, extend the period of survival, and improve the chances of recovery.

     At Desert Sands, I use a combination of the TCM methods mentioned above. If you choose to use standard Western treatment, we can work together to integrate TCM into your treatment plan. For individuals who choose not to use standard Western treatments, TCM is a key choice to include in your alternative plan.  Often I will suggest specific dietary restrictions, which will depend on the type and location of the cancer. These dietary recommendations will consider the overall health as well as the Chinese medical patterns of the individual.  Individual herbal medicine formulas are an important part of treatment for most patients.  Gentle Qi Gong exercises are typically recommended to improve circulation and assist in stress reduction.


If cancer care is a concern of yours, acupuncture and alternative medicine at Desert Sands may benefit you. Working as a team, we can devise a treatment plan that meets your health needs. To make an appointment, please contact me at (520) 780-1230.


Jill Darban, L.Ac., Dipl. O.M., MT, SH

Desert Sands Acupuncture- Tucson, AZ


Recently attended seminar on Cancer:

Treatment of Hormonal Cancers by Jeffrey Yuen, Santa Fe, N.M., August 14-15, 2010.