by Dr. Hua Bing Wen: Some of you may know of Ms. Valerie Harper, a beloved television & film actress, best known for her memorable role as Rhoda on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.”
Most recently, she dazzled and inspired us on “Dancing With The Stars,” courageously competing on stage at age 74 after battling lung cancer and a rare terminal brain cancer.
I have been very fortunate to be a part of Ms. Harper’s arsenal in her fight against cancer and to witness firsthand the positive results she’s had in combining Eastern and Western medicine.
Before I continue, I want to add that I take patient confidentiality very seriously and have Ms. Harper’s permission to talk about her case. As part of cancer awareness and public education, Ms. Harper has been a strong advocate in promoting acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine. She has publicly praised the benefits of acupuncture and herbs for cancer treatment in combination with conventional therapy. Last October, her fight with cancer, including her experience with acupuncture and herbs, was featured on NBC Dateline’s special program “Valerie’s Story.”
Back in December of 2012, Ms. Harper was diagnosed with lung cancer that had spread to the meninges surrounding the brain and was told that there was no cure for such a rare case. She was given three months to live.
Not one to give up hope, Ms. Harper sought out chemotherapy from her Western physician and also came to my clinic beginning in January 2013. I began treating her with acupuncture to regulate nerves and improve brain function along with Chinese herbs to support and strengthen her immune system. I found this to be a very crucial approach in addition to the conventional cancer treatment she was undergoing and I continue this treatment for her regularly.
As of June 2013, a mere six months since her terminal prognosis, Ms. Harper’s MRI came back clean compared to the initial findings. Her MRIs have now been clean since that time, with the MRIs being taken every 8 weeks. As you can see, the important lesson to be learned and to share with the public is that even in situations where the case seems so dire and medical treatment options slim, the combination of Eastern treatments such as acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine with Western medical treatments can prove to be invaluable to cancer recovery.