traditional chinese medicine: genetics and breast cancer

Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has a unique view of the role genetics plays in breast cancer. From its perspective, women born with a genetic predisposition are also born with the inner knowledge and tools of how to heal from it. This understanding reflects Nature’s law on yin/yang. In this reality, TCM has observed for millennia the interaction of two opposing yet complementary energies. We call them “yin” and “yang.” They inform one of the most important theories of TCM, which states that opposite energies always exist and must remain in balance. If there is a negative force, there is always an equally powerful positive one to balance it.

Hereditary Breast Cancer

An estimated 5 percent to 10 percent of all breast cancers are hereditary. BRCA1 (Breast CAcer gene one) and BRCA2 (BReast CAncer gene two) are major genes related to hereditary breast cancer. (http://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/) Even with these genetic markers, breast cancer is not inevitable. From the TCM perspective, you control the gene’s expression. A genetic predisposition is like a seed. Under specific conditions, the seed will grow. Without these conditions, it just cannot develop. For example, a rose bush cannot bloom in the desert. Requirements for its growth, like rich soil and water, don’t exist in this environment.

Science has yet to break the code on discovering the preventive power of traditional Chinese medicine. This is especially apparent in genetics. For example, with BRCA 1 and BRCA 2, if either one of these is activated, somewhere in the genetic code, there exists a gene to control it. An individual’s genetic code carries the visible characteristics of inherited traits and the ancient invisible aspects of its unique spiritual strengths. According to Nature’s principle of “yin” and “yang,” an opposite energy exists to the one that produced the disease. Two programs, two energies, must operate—one for developing a disease or illness, as well as one for healing it.

Currently science has directed its resources and attention to exploring the disease aspect of the genetic program, but this addresses only half of the genetic code’s power. In the future, the more promising exploration will be its healing aspect, which could yield tremendous benefits. Even after 5,000 years, we are not yet using the best of this ancient medicine, nor have we discovered how to apply its profound insights to today’s serious health problems like breast cancer.

When diagnosed with a nonmalignant tumor, younger women with a genetic marker for breast cancer often face the agonizing choice of whether to have a mastectomy or not. From the TCM perspective, a mastectomy still leaves the genetic seed for breast cancer hiding somewhere in the body. If a woman allows her body to become unbalanced again, and starts to experiences excess negative emotions, she is still viewed as being at risk for a recurrence of breast cancer, or some other cancer.

Because the source of breast cancer comes in part from emotional factors, it is important that you feel comfortable talking with your doctor about your feelings throughout your healing process. Choose a doctor who demonstrates his or her support of the treatment decisions you make and wants to be your partner. He or she should never be a source of stress or frustration.