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Breast cancer

Breast cancer/Mammary tumor


How does Traditional Chinese Medicine deal with breast cancer and breast lumps?


First we need to understand the relationship between breast milk and menstruation.


Menstrual blood comes from breast milk.  The famous doctor Dr Rongchuan Tang said “I did not come up with the idea that menstruation comes from breast milk, the idea comes from the Yellow Emperors Internal Canon”.  Dr HaiSha Ni, who treats cancer at Ni's Acupuncture Clinic in America  agrees with that theory as well.


In the theory of traditional Chinese medicine, we believe that breasts produce breast milk and the force of the Heart pushes it down to the Uterus where it becomes menstruation.  The basis for this assumption lies in the following three common facts:


1) Women get breast tenderness before their period every month and as soon as they get their period, the breast tenderness reduces.  This is because the breasts are full of breast milk; as the pressure inside the breasts increases they begin to feel tender, but as soon as menstruation begins and the breast milk descends to the Uterus the pressure inside the breasts is decreased and the tenderness subsides. 


2)  Once a woman is pregnant they no longer menstruate and their breasts get large and tender. 3


3)  When breastfeeding, women don't menstruate either because the baby is having the breast milk. In some cases, if the breast produces an abundance of milk which is more than the baby needs, then they do get menstruation while breastfeeding.


From these three points, we conclude that breast milk = menstrual blood. It is not possible to treat breast lumps and breast cancer or even prevent breast cancer without knowing this theory. 


How do breast lumps and breast cancer occur?


When women are under stressful conditions for a long period of time or on any medication that may harm the Heart, this weakens the force of the Heart and it no longer effectively pushes breast milk down to the Uterus.  This means that breast milk will stagnate in the breasts and become a lump.  If the condition lasts long enough it will eventually become breast cancer.


How does the Chinese practitioner diagnose breast cancer?


Examination of the breast:

1) No pain in the breast lump;

2) The breast lump is hard like a rock and the edges are irregular.

3)The nipple may be depressed;

4)The temperature of the breast which has cancer is higher than that of the other breast. While Western doctors will use the first three signs in diagnosing cancer, the last sign (temperature) is only used by the Chinese practitioner, because Western medicine does not know the theory of YinYang.


Examination of general body conditions:

1) Insomnia

2) Sweating when asleep at night

3) Cold hands and feet

4) Constipation or irregular bowel motions


How do we help breast lumps and breast cancer?


We know that breast milk cannot descend to the Uterus and become menstruation when Heart force is low. To treat breast cancer or lumps, we need to increase Heart force and clear away the“hard rock” in the breast.  Chinese herbs are very important. We always ask patient to find ways to be happy every day while taking Chinese medicine. Happiness pertains to the Heart in the theory of the five elements, therefore happiness can increase Heart force.


What is a good diet for patients with breast cancer or breast lumps?


1)  Eliminate dairy.

2)  Avoid any supplements, eg vitamin C, Multi-Vitamins.  Instead, eat a varied diet with plenty of fresh organic fruit and vegetables to ensure a sufficient intake of vitamins and minerals. 

3) Whole food plant based diet is the best.



Szenan Phua, B.Med (Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine)


Reference material from: 

Renji series textbooks by Professor HaiSha Ni from Hantang Clinic( Ni‘s Acupuncture Centre), USA

“Xuezheng Lun”  by Rongchuan Tang



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