Research: Analysis of Common Symptoms Among Constipated Advanced Cancer Patients


The Quintessence of Traditional Chinese Medicine: Syndrome and Its Distribution Among Advanced Cancer Patients with Constipation


Chung-Wah Cheng, Annie O. L. Kwok, Zhao-Xiang Bian, and Doris M.W. Tse



Constipation is a common problem in advanced cancer patients; however, specific clinical guidelines on traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) syndrome (Zhang) are not yet available. In this cross-sectional study, the TCM syndromes distribution and their common symptoms and signs among 225 constipated advanced cancer patients were determined. Results showed that 127 patients (56.4%) and 7 patients (3.1%) were in deficient and excessive patterns, respectively, while 91 patients (40.4%) were in deficiency-excess complex. The distributions of the five syndromes were: Qi deficiency (93.3%), Qi stagnation (40.0%), blood (Yin) deficiency (28.9%), Yang deficiency (22.2%), and excess heat (5.8%). Furthermore, age, functional status, and level of blood haemoglobin were factors related to the type of TCM syndrome. A TCM prescription with the functions on replenishing the Deficiency, redirecting the flow of Qi stagnation and moistening the dryness caused by the blood (Yin) deficiency can be made for the treatment of advance cancer patients with constipation. Robust trials are urgently needed for further justifying its efficacy and safety in evidence-based approaches.


Copyright © 2012 Chung-Wah Cheng et al. This is an open access article

distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License

1.              Introduction

2.              Material and Methods

1.           Patients

2.           Questionnaire

3.           Statistical Analyses

3.              Results

1.           Demographic Data

2.           Manifestations and Distributions for Patients in the Five Syndromes

3.           Manifestations for Patients in the Three Patterns

4.           Patients’ Severity of Constipation and Prescription of Opioid

4.              Discussion

5.              Conclusion

6.              References


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