After battling cancer, Chinese actress Xu Ting died on September 7 after choosing traditional Chinese medicine over chemotherapy. The 26-year-old announced in July that she was diagnosed with lymphoma, a form of cancer affecting the immune system.
The unfortunate event has led some to question the extent that traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) had on Xu, Shanghaiist reported. She chose not to undergo chemotherapy, convinced that the procedure would be too painful and can even kill her faster.
She didn’t want to “let chemotherapy torment me to the point where there’s no beauty and talent left.”
As an alternative, Xu opted for traditional medicine under a so-called “master.” She went through acupuncture, back scratching, blood letting, cupping and a pinching remedy called jiusha, which targeted the back, neck and throat.
Unfortunately, none of the procedures helped to cure Xu. Later on, her sister accused the TCM master of fraud and convinced her to begin therapy.
However, it was all too late. By the time Xu started chemotherapy last month, she was already too weak.
Her death eventually sparked a debate between adherents of TCM and modern medicine. For one, Hou Jiang of Beijing Evening News argued (via The Nanfang):
“Some people say that traditional Chinese medicine can’t cure cancer, so therefore traditional Chinese medicine is a sham. This kind of logic is ridiculous. There are many cancer patients who still pass away after receiving chemotherapy. Will these same people also say that Western medicine is a sham?”
On the other hand, during the course of Xu’s battle, one fan advised:
“The kind of illness [you have] can only be cured by Western medicine, not Chinese medicine.”
The debate may not be over anytime soon, but for now, fans will remember Xu as a talented actress and a loving daughter. She wrote in an earlier Weibo post (via Shanghai Daily):
“It seems like I’ve never lived for myself in 26 years… My parents had seven children and I’m the third child in the family. Over the past five years, I worked very hard to support the large family. I made money to pay for my younger brother’s tuition fees, pay my parents debts and even buy a house… The pressure made me breathless… “
She finished, “I actually felt a little bit relieved when I learnt of the cancer.”