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Case 1

Zhou, male, age: 70


Case history

The patient had suffered from a hoarse voice for three months. Other symptoms included dryness in the mouth, thirst, dry cough, and a feeling of obstruction in the throat. The condition became aggravated day by day. An examination at the Henan Medical College found a tumor as big as a peanut on the left vocal fold. The pathological report indicated that it was squamous epithelial carcinoma. Nine days after the biopsy, the patient was attacked by an intolerable pain together with a severe dryness of the mouth. As a result, he felt great difficulty even in drinking water. Therefore, he resorted to Dr. Lin Qinbi at the Affiliated Hospital of the Luoyang Medical School.



On the first visit on June 20, 1972, the patient's symptoms were found to include loss of voice, depression, lassitude, dizziness, blurred vision, sallow complexion, flushed cheeks, coughing with expectoration of yellow white and sticky sputum, dyspnea and constipation for seven days. Other symptoms were lymph nodes on both sides of the neck which were as big as peanuts, hard and unmovable with tenderness, widened intercostal space with scattered wheeping sounds, and crimson tongue with yellow, white and slimy coating. These symptoms were caused by obstruction of the air passage by phlegm and heat in the lung, and invasion of the throat by lung-qi which failed to descend. Appropriate treatment involved focusing on clearing away heat from the lung and replenishing yin to promote production of body fluid, strengthen the spleen and moisten the lung.


Ingredients of the administered medicine were as follows:


hedyotis 60g

tongking sophora root 30g

skullcap root 30g

rehmannia root 30gforsythia fruit 30g

glehnia root 30g

rhubarb (decocted later) 30g

figwort root 21g

snakegourd root 25g

honeysuckle flower 25g

bighead atractylodes rhizome 9g

cape-jasmine fruit 12g

platydodon root 15g

sea tangle 15g

seaweed 15g

exsiccated sodium sulfate 15g

Chinese cinnamon bark (decocted later) 3g

walnut twig 60g

willow twig 60g


The above ingredients were made into a herbal decoction for oral consumption.

After the patient took two doses of the decoction, his condition improved to some extent. He regained phonation capability. Frequent bowels movement occurred with foam-like stuff being discharged. Pain in the throat disappeared and dizziness was relieved. The tongue was red with yellow, white coating and scanty saliva. The pulse was deep and rapid. The initial formula was modified in the following way: rhubarb, exsiccated sodium sulfate and Chinese cinnamon twig were omitted and glossy privet fruit (21g) was added. After four doses of the decoction were taken, phonation turned to normal. An examination at the Luoyang Third Hospital indicated disappearance of the tumor and found a few scars remaining on the vocal fold. The lymph nodes on the neck got smaller and no tenderness was found. The tongue was slightly red and the pulse was slightly rapid. The formula was modified as follows.


glehnia root 30g

snakegourd root 30g

glabrous greenbrier rhizome 30g

figwort root 30g

arnebia root 30g

asparagus root 15g

lilyturf root 15g

rehmannia root 15g

cogongrass rhizome 15g

lily bulb 15g

isatis root 24g

dendrobium stem 24g

tongking sophora root 21g

Chinese angelica root 21g

cape-jasmine fruit 18g

licorice root 9g


The above ingredients were made into a herbal decoction for oral consumption.


Some medical herbs including willow twig (30g), walnut twig (30g), platycodon root (19g) and licorice root (6g) were soaked in boiling water to be taken several times a day.


After 20 doses of the herbal decoction were taken, the tumor and other clinical symptoms disappeared. The patient was cured.



Laryngocarcinoma usually occurs in people of the 50 to 70 age bracket, and its incidence in males is higher than in females. Among cases of laryngocarcinoma, squamous carcinoma is mostly seen while adenocarcinoma is rarely seen. In treating this disease, Western medicine advocates surgery and radiotherapy. However, these therapies do not exert satisfactory effect on patients with laryngocarcinoma at the medium and late stages.


According to theory of traditional Chinese medicine, the throat, which dominates respiration and phonation, is controlled by the lung. The Lung, Liver and Kidney meridians pass through the throat. Therefore, the occurrence of laryngocarcinoma is related to the lung, liver and kidney. It is usually caused by invasion of the lung by wind-heat, deficiency in the liver and kidney, upward flaming of fire and accumulation of phlegm and toxins. Appropriate treatment involved focusing on clearing away lung-heat and reinforcing the kidney.


The patient in this case suffered from laryngocarcinoma at the late stage with metastasis of the lymph nodes and loss of phonation capability. In the prescribed formula, hedyotis, tongking sophora root, walnut twig were administered to clear away heat, eliminate toxins and counteract cancer; honeysuckle flower removed heat; rehmannia root, glehnia root to nourished the kidney and moisten the lung; Chinese cinnamon bark directed the fire back to the origin; seaweed and sea tangle resolved phlegm and dissipated mass. Since the patient suffered from constipation for seven days, rehmannia root and exsiccated sodium sulfate were administered to induce bowels movement. As a result, foam-like waster was discharged, in which there might be some necrotic tissues. Several days later, the tumor disappeared. In summary, for cancer patients with the excess syndrome, especially for those who suffer from constipation, large doses of herbs against cancer can be administered with purgation therapy being applied. As for cancer patients with the deficiency syndrome, large doses of herbs acting to counteract cancer and invigorate blood circulation can be administered with mild purgation being applied. In this way, excellent result is usually achieved.


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