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Traditional Chinese Medicinal Herbs May Help Women With Breast Cancer

Date:
April 18, 2007
Source:
John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Summary:
Using Chinese herbs either alone or in conjunction with chemotherapy may help protect a breast cancer patient's bone marrow and immune system, as well as improving the woman's overall quality of life.
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Using Chinese herbs either alone or in conjunction with chemotherapy may help protect a breast cancer patient's bone marrow and immune system, as well as improving the woman's overall quality of life.

Sixty per cent of women undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer experience a range of significant short term side effects. These include nausea, vomiting and fatigue, as well as inflammation of the gut lining, decreased numbers of red and white blood cells and decreased numbers of blood platelets.

Chinese medicinal herbs include mixtures of herbal compounds or extracts from herbs, and they are prescribed to counteract the side effects of chemotherapy. This Cochrane Systematic Review set out to see if there is conventional evidence indicating that these medicines are safe and whether there is evidence that the medicines are effective.

The researchers identified seven randomised studies involving 542 patients with breast cancer. By analysing these data, the researchers concluded that there was no evidence that the Chinese medicinal herbal treatment caused harm, and some evidence that it might reduce side effects.

"Further trials are needed before the effects of traditional Chinese medicines for people with breast cancer can be evaluated with any real confidence," says Assistant Professor Jing Li, who works at the Chinese Cochrane Centre in Chengdu, China.


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The above story is based on materials provided by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


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John Wiley & Sons, Inc.. "Traditional Chinese Medicinal Herbs May Help Women With Breast Cancer." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 April 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070417194320.htm>.
John Wiley & Sons, Inc.. (2007, April 18). Traditional Chinese Medicinal Herbs May Help Women With Breast Cancer. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 26, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070417194320.htm
John Wiley & Sons, Inc.. "Traditional Chinese Medicinal Herbs May Help Women With Breast Cancer." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070417194320.htm (accessed April 26, 2015).

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