Young Chinese actress dies of cancer after choosing traditional Chinese medicine over chemotherapy – Shanghaiist

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Chinese actress Xu Ting died of cancer on September 7 at the age of 26; However, Chinese netizens are wondering to what extent traditional Chinese medicine also played a role in the young woman’s tragic death.
In July, Xu revealed to his 300,000 fans on Weibo that she had been diagnosed with lymphoma. “No matter how long I live, I want to enjoy each day happily,” Xu wrote in his article.
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With that in mind, Xu decided not to undergo chemotherapy, the typical procedure used to treat lymphoma, believing that it would be too painful and could even lead to faster death, adding that she did not want to “let the chemotherapy me. torment to the end. point where there is no more beauty and talent ”, Nanfang reports.
Instead, Xu opted for traditional Chinese medicine, conceding that she might not cure her cancer. On July 24, she posted pictures of herself receiving cupping therapy from a traditional Chinese medicine “master” whom she had chosen to treat her. In this post, Xu admits that “frankly, traditional Chinese medicine is also painful.”
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Below, Weibo’s post, Xu fans urged her to reconsider, writing that she was “cheated” and that “the kind of illness [you have] can only be cured by western medicine, not Chinese medicine.
Xu received daily TCM sessions which included standard treatments like cupping, acupuncture, back scraping, bloodletting and jiusha (揪 ç—§) – a folk remedy that involves repeatedly pinching the neck, throat and back to increase blood flow.
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However, none of these procedures produced any results, and Xu gradually weakened. According to Sina, Xu’s sister got fed up and publicly accused the TCM “master” of being a “fraud.” In August, she managed to convince her sister to start chemotherapy.
Unfortunately, by then, Xu’s immune system had become too weakened and it was too late. His last post on Weibo was on August 18. She spoke about the incredible pain she was feeling and wished it was gone.
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For critics of traditional Chinese medicine, Xu’s death is yet another warning against dangerous practices that are based more on superstition than science. TCM advocates say the young woman’s death cannot be blamed on traditional Chinese medicine. After all, she might as well have died on chemotherapy, not to mention other types of experimental cancer treatments. People’s Daily even published an editorial by Dr Feng Li, head of the traditional Chinese medicine department at the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences in Beijing, who wrote that traditional Chinese medicine should not be blamed for Xu’s death:

Is TCM bad for treating tumors? Whether it is Western medicine or TCM, malignant tumors cannot be treated with just one method. They require a synthesized approach, combining both Eastern and Western methodology.
For example, while western approaches like radiology, chemotherapy, and surgery are effective in shrinking the tumor. TCM is effective in reducing symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, swelling, and pain that accompany Western treatment. In addition, once the tumor is under control, TCM helps repair the immune system, speed up the body’s recovery, and minimize the chances of the tumor coming back. It is irrational to blindly reject one treatment in favor of another. No healthcare professional would say for sure that TCM or Western medicine is superior. They both have their own advantages and disadvantages. Each case requires a treatment specifically adapted according to the stage and the pathology.
Therefore, in the treatment of malignant tumors, it is not enough to rely only on acupuncture and cupping. It’s not that acupuncture and cupping are unnecessary. Rather, the treatment was used on the incorrect area.
This incident reflects the state of mind of some patients when considering treatment options. Some fear the agony and suffering felt by those undergoing chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Out of psychological fear, they choose to completely pursue the less painful option offered by traditional Chinese medicine. Some even believe that TCM has mystical powers, capable of curing any disease.
In addition, the public dissemination of the popular science behind treating tumors is insufficient. After contracting an illness, many feel lost and will desperately seek any doctor who presents a solution. This is a situation that we all must avoid and correct afterwards.
I recommend that once patients find out about their illness, they go to a prestigious, regulated hospital and see a doctor. At the national level, there is a need to increase regulation and supervision so that patients can receive a standardized level of treatment.

Throughout her cancer experience, Xu remained optimistic and used her platform to help others in need. When fans wrote in encouraging words, she directed them to other cancer patients she had met who needed more help than she did. She also gave money to children with cancer and tried to encourage them to stay positive. “I definitely believe that if we can move forward without fear, with optimism and bravery, then we can achieve a miracle,” she wrote.
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[Images via Weibo / Shanghai Daily]


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