by Ortiz-Umpierre, Carolina
Am J Trad Chin Med 2023; 18(1):76-76.
In TCVM, tumors, masses, and nodules are categorized as Phlegm, Blood Stagnation or Blood Stasis. The immune system is categorized as Wei-Qi or Defense Qi. Cancer occurs due to an energetic imbalance and a weakness in Wei-Qi. Phlegm is a secondary pathogen that is a pathological product of Zang-Fu organ dysfunction. Phlegm usually results from a primary pathogen such as Heat or Cold. Excess Heat boils the body fluids, creating
Phlegm, while Cold obstructs the flow of fluids also causing Phlegm. Phlegm is a thick, sticky, damp, material that manifests as masses or tumors. Blood Stagnation is a significant blockage of Blood and/or Qi that forms a mass. Blood Stagnation can result from Qi Deficiency, Qi Stagnation, or Excess Cold. Severe and/or prolonged Blood Stagnation can result in Blood Stasis, which forms a large painful mass. The pain is usually localized to
the area of the mass and can be quite severe in nature.
Emotional and stressful factors can lead to Qi Stagnation within a Meridian. Chronic Qi Stagnation can lead to Blood Stagnation, which in turn causes a tumor to develop. Blood Stasis can result from trauma, injury or Cold-Dampness. Poor nutrition, lack of exercise or excessive stress can cause Spleen Qi Deficiency, which can lead to the generation of Phlegm. Retention of Phlegm can gradually transform into cancer. Invasion of the six
evil Qi converts to heat toxicity or Phlegm. External Heat-toxins invade the body and consume body fluids leading to Phlegm and Stagnation of Qi and Blood. Zang-Fu disharmony that causes a Deficiency can lead to Phlegm formation or Blood Stagnation.
Clinical manifestations of Phlegm include slippery or wiry pulses, thick white tongue coating, and are usually fatty tumors such as lipomas or liposarcomas. Clinical manifestations of Blood Stagnation include forceful, choppy or wiry pulses, purple tongue or purple spots on the tongue, and are usually cystic masses or bruised areas. Clinical manifestations of Blood Stasis include fast, choppy, or thready pulses, dark purple tongue
with a dry coating, and large painful masses or tumors such as hemangiosarcoma.
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