• Undergoing Traditional Cupping Treatment In Hong Kong

Undergoing Traditional Cupping Treatment In Hong Kong (Photo : Getty Images)

Three weeks after the death of Chinese actress Kitty Xu Ting of lymphoma, the debate in China pitting Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) against western medicine continues.

Among the question that is being raised is if the actress was motivated by vanity in rejecting chemotherapy which is known for hair loss as one of its side effects? As an actress, physical beauty is a key asset that Kitty Xu Ting needed to retain for her to resume her acting career if TCM succeeded in healing her of cancer.

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The actress, who shared the lymphoma diagnosis in July to her 300,000 fans on Sina Weibo, has been quoted as saying that undergoing chemotherapy would only speed up her death, besides tormenting her “to the point where there’s no beauty or talent left.”

She also cited cost as a consideration since the actress was breadwinner. Global Times noted that a session of chemotherapy in China costs between 3,000 and 7,000 yuan. TCM such as cupping and acupuncture costs only hundreds of yuan for every session.

Chemotherapy requires at least 12 sessions which means 36,000 to 84,000 is needed to undergo chemotherapy that has other side effects such as pain and vomiting.

Even the University of Phayao in Thailand, which is launching a TCM Clinic at its University Hospital, recognizes the value of western medicine as it is one of three branches of health treatment the clinic would offer. The two others are TCM and Traditional Thai Medicine.

Dr. Udom Chantrarakskri, associate dean for Academic Traditional Chinese Medicine of the university’s College of Medicine, acknowledged that “in University of Phayao Hospital, we have many people who come for Traditional Chinese Medicine treatments. However, Traditional Chinese Medicine, people recognize, is for taking care of yourself while those with acute diseases need to get Western Medicine treatment, which is faster than Traditional Chinese Medicine.”