Lung cancer, also called primary bronchogenic carcinoma, is a malignant pulmonary tumor primarily originating from bronchial mucosa and glands, manifested mainly by irritable cough, blood-stained sputum or hemoptysis, chest pain and oppression, shortness of breath, fever,etc. Its incidence is the highest of all tumors in males and takes the second place in females. With an ominous prognosis, it has a very high mortality. Its average survival rate of five years is about 10% after various treatments.
The etiology and mechanism of lung cancer is not completely clear. It is believed that the disease is related to some inherent factors of the body and some environmental factors; and in particular, the tung is the organ exposed to the environment, so environmental factors should not be ignored. It is already known that all the carcinogenic factors can cause lung cancer, for instance, cigarette smoking, air pollution, occupational carcinogenic factors, ionizing radiation, etc. Other factors related to it, to some degree, are immunologic hypofunction, metabolic disorder, endocrine dysfunction and heredity.
In TCM, according to its clinical manifestations, lung cancer belongs to the categories of "ka xue" (hemoptysis), "fei ji" ( lung mass), "xi ben" ( hypochondrium lumps), "xu lao" (consumptive disease), etc. The exopathic factors are the six exogenous pathogenic factors that invade the lung. The endopathic ones include wea constitution, smoking and drinking, dust, emotional upset and overstrain. The main pathogenesis involves deficiency of anti-pathogenic factors with accumulation of phlegm and blood stasis in the lung. Generally, this disease is characterized by principal deficiency and secondary excess. The excess refers to qi accumulation, blood stasis, phlegm, dampness and toxic fire in the lung locally, and the deficiency denotes disorder of the whole body involving qi, blood, yin and yang.