Lung Cancer


History: Patient is a 60 year old female with a chief complaint of oat cell Lung cancer. The cancer was diagnosed approximately 1 year prior to our initial visit. Over the course of the year, patient has undergone 30 treatments of chemotherapy (CPT-11 and Cisplatin), as well as 30 treatments of radiation therapy. Patient was strongly discouraged by her doctor from seeking acupuncture and/or herbal medicine therapy during her treatments. At the time of our visit, patient’s western treatments had been stopped for approximately 2 months due to a decline in her white blood cell counts (approximately 2.0). At her last oncologist appointment (1 week ago), x-ray and CT scans revealed that the cancer was still present. Due to this finding, patient turned to Chinese medicine for help.

Current Health Status: Patient presented extremely fatigued. She has been housebound for approximately 1 year during the course of her chemo and radiation. During chemo she experienced cold sweats. She suffers from insomnia (trouble falling and staying asleep) and requires medication to have a restful night sleep. She has poor appetite, abdominal pain, gas, belching, bad breath and nausea and vomiting. She has alternating constipation and diarrhea. She went through menopause at 43 years old without experiencing any symptoms. She has tinnitus, dry mouth and throat and canker sores from the chemotherapy. She suffers from anxiety and depression, high blood pressure and dizziness.

Past Medical History: seasonal allergies (sinus congestion), high blood pressure

Family Health History: both parents had heart disease, father had diabetes (type II)
Husband died of Lung cancer 10 years ago

Medications: atenolol, hydrochorazide, paxil, atavan, ambien

Allergic History: seasonal allergies

Physical Exam:
a. Tongue: body: pinkish purple, dry, thin, scalloped, puffy in Lung
coat: dry yellow burnt
veins: slightly dark
b. Facial complexion: pale withered
c. Body shape and posture: overweight; flaccid muscle tone
d. Shen: depressed and anxious
e. Listening and Smelling: raspy hoarse voice, labored breathing
f. Palpation:
i. Pulse:
Right – thin weak faint forceless
Left – imperceptible
ii. Abdomen/Channels: n/a

Diagnosis: This is a situation of multiple system profound organ deficiencies with significant stagnation and toxic heat. With the immediacy that this case presented, treatments were geared towards attacking the Lungs while simultaneously nourishing the immune system and constitution to enable the patient to fight off the cancer. Severely weakened by a year of chemo and radiation which left the patient debilitated, nourishment was a prime concern.

First Treatment: September 25
Acupuncture: LU 7, KI 6, KI 7, LU 8
Herbs: Ren Shen 12g Ling Zhi 12g
(raw ½ bag per day) Bai Zhu 15g Sha Ren 6g
Ban Xia 6g Mai Men Dong 12g
Tian Men Dong 12g Jin Yin Hua 20g
Pu Gong Ying 20g Bai Hua She She Cao 20g
Pi Pa Ye 9g Ba Yue Zha 12g
Sheng Di Huang 12g Huang Lian 6g
Jiao Gu Lan 9g Fu Ling 9g
Dan Shen 6g

Second Treatment: October 2
Notes: White blood cells doubled since first treatment. Chest x-ray shows status quo, no mets. Tumor is in lymph.
Right pulse was deep thin and vacuous; left pulse extremely faint and thin
Acupuncture: R LU 7, L KI 6, L LU 5, R LU 11, bilateral LV 8, ST 36, SP 9
Ear: Lower Lung
Notes: During treatment patient felt strong aching and sharp sensation deep inside chest/lungs
Herbs: Continue on same prescription

Third Treatment: October 9
Notes: Patient had x-ray yesterday. Tumor/cancer is GONE. No signs of cancer.
Right pulse is fuller, left pulse has more force
Acupuncture: R LU 7, L KI 6, L LU 5, LI 11, bilateral SP 9, ST 25, ST 37
Herbs: Continue on same prescription plus add Jie Geng 6g


  1. Hello Ross, this is your new patient Melanie. This story is amazing, exciting and encouraging!

  2. Detecting breast cancer early is when it is easiest to treat.