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Letter to Cancer Patients — From A Neurosurgeon and 3rd Stage Colorectal Cancer Survivor

Dr. Shu is a Neurosurgeon who was diagnosed with Dukes C or 3rd-stage colorectal cancer back in January 2003, but he managed to survive without devastating surgical procedures. Hope his story will inspire those who are fighting cancer and are on their way to a full recovery. The original letter can be found in Dr. Shu’s website here. (drt)

When people are healthy, no one understands how precious the value of their wellness is. So goes the old Chinese saying, “身在福中、不知福” which literally means one is unmindful of the happy life one is blessed with. Human beings are a perfect creation of God. When we were babies, we were cute and lovely to all. However, as we grow up, our cuteness is diminished and our beauty fades. The reason is that we spoiled our body! At the same time, the globe has also been heavily contaminated and we are all living in a very polluted world! When our bodies and souls are continuously bombarded, contaminated and spoiled, then of course it is hard to avoid becoming sick.

Almost everybody harbors resentments that blame our society is an unfair and unjust. Isn’t it true that there are people winning lotteries, people making a lot of money, people serving in higher positions? But there are also people that cannot afford three meals a day, people with broken homes, and people with deep-seated-diseases. Nevertheless, there are four events that are fair to everyone, i.e., being born, growing old, getting sick and dying. It doesn’t matter who you are or who you were, everybody will go through these four stages of life with no exception. As for dying – though we are all headed towards death – there are various ways to die. Some may die from suicide, illness, or accident and some may die in a war. Some deaths are very significant, some are not noticed at all. As for how to die properly and peacefully, or to die dreadfully with regrets is up to each person!

When I was struck by cancer, like everybody else, my first reaction was: “I’m going to die soon!”

This is a normal process, because up until that point we have always been healthy, worked diligently nor done any unconscionable act. There are many things we still would like to accomplish and enjoy. I really didn’t want to die! However, on the other hand we were also afraid, thinking that the angel of death was getting closer and we were so consumed with the fear that we had never encountered before. You don’t know what to do. You lose your mind. Accordingly you hurriedly drop into doctors’ offices; you might even agree to a surgery, chemotherapy and you would like to excise the tumor right away, to remove the cancerous cells from your body. You sincerely believe that the sooner you are treated, the sooner you will be safe and be able to wave goodbye to the death sentence.

However, how did people get cancer? How did it grow in my body?

You hate it and you are afraid of it, but you could not do any introspection either. This is not your fault because there is no one in this world can answer you! Why do doctors get to perform the surgery, chemotherapy, when even doctors don’t know how the cancer happened? That is why they just want to cut it off or to immediately use the toxic chemotherapy or radiation therapy to kill the cancerous cells. But did they succeed? If so, then why the cancer fatality rate is at the pinnacle of the top 10 fatalities rate list? In Taiwan there is one new cancer patient every seven minutes, and there are forty thousand cancer mortalities annually, which clearly shows that current cancer treatment is not perfect yet and full of shortcomings.

You hate it and you are afraid of it. If the treatment is not perfect and there is no guarantee, you may think, “Does that mean the only option is to die?” Of course there is only that option, the question is whether that will be sooner or later. Earlier we already discussed that we all are headed toward death since the day we were born. If up to this point you are still blaming God and cursing the angels, feeling depressed everyday, not eating, getting insomnia and worrying about everything, then one thing is certain: you are destined to die! In contrast, you can also just calm down, open your mind, and accept the reality. Like what the Buddhist Monk, Master Sheng Yen (聖嚴法師) always told people: “When faced with any difficulty of life, resolve it by following these four steps: face it, accept it, deal with it, and then let it go!”

Did you get it? No, not yet! You may even say: “It was not you that got the cancer, of course you can’t perceive what we have to go through.” OK, now I would explain it personally as a doctor, as a cancer patient, as well as someone who shares the same illness like you.

When I found out that I got cancer, I also went thru the same process of panicking, being resentful, terrified, and full of fear. I remember after I was told I got a third-stage colorectal cancer, I felt dead for 48 hours. In that 48 hours, my mind was blank, I didn’t know what to do, and I didn’t care to eat or drink. But the first thing I did after I woke up was to write my Will. I’m always a straightforward person, and after finished my Will I went to the hospital concentrating on the preparation for my treatment. The good part was, I had chosen the Koo Foundation Sun Yat Sen (Hexing) Cancer Care Center (和信治療中心), where they provided the best treatment available to date, i.e., the CCRT* method which provided the Chemotherapy first before the surgery, and offered the best results. While staying in the hospital, I was not lying in bed blaming myself but I was actively reading all the cancer related references. I then found that there were so many anti cancer warriors out there like Dr. Li Feng, Dr. Mei Xiangyang, Council woman Jin Sumei, Ms. Li Qiuliang etc. Also there were so many treatment methods such as Meimen Qigong. I also found vaccine, mushroom, RH2 Ginsen, electrolyte water. Ke Lin Qigong, foot massage, towel exercise, etc. When I knew more information on cancer I became less worried. The reason was, I was not sure anymore that there was only the option to die but there seem to be more alternatives to choose from.

Even though I was an experienced Neurosurgeon, once I got sick I was also a patient. After reading many books while on my sickbed, I started to remember my clinical experience. Suddenly I realized, cancer turned out to be a chronic disease that would not kill you but people die of cancer because of their decreasing immunity. The decreasing immunity came from the fear, the dread, the insomnia, the improper or unbalanced nutrients, the side effect of the treatments, etc. Cancerous cells originally were normal cells, however, after submerging in a toxic environment they were lead to mutation and became cancerous. The toxic environment basically came from our water, air, etc. Since the main action against cancer is to change the toxic environment, then when a doctor provides the chemotherapy and surgery just simply to cure cancer without changing the cancerous environtment, cancer would reappear again. This usually is not the case in Western Medicine, since Western doctors don’t understand. All the western doctors think that their treatment are based on scientific methods, and would snicker at all the alternative methods or recipes. All they can do is offer various toxic medication in the name of chemotherapy to treat patients. However doctors know that chemotherapy is only delaying time, nothing more! In the hospital I saw that people who received chemotherapy were actually marching toward death while receiving the treatment. Chemotherapy itself not only very painful, but it also destroys the patients’ immune system, and besides a small number of cases, the effectiveness of chemotherapy is very limited.

Dr. David TF Shu's 60th Birthday!

Almost two years have passed since I became sick (blood in the stool – January 2003) and one and a half years since the beginning of my treatment. During this period, more information become available that increased my confidence in fighting cancer. After joining Meimen Qigong, besides doing my daily Qigong practice, I also received the spiritual and moral teaching of Master Li Fengshan that gave me courage to decide against the surgery. This decision was very important, because after surgery the function of the anus is lost and replaced by an artificial anus. That means I would be occupied with daily bowel movements and even become a partially disabled person. After practicing Qigong and becoming a vegetarian for a month, I went to Hexing hospital for a checkup and found that my tumor was all gone. My CEA** came down from 29 to 0.9. Since the cancer was gone, my body was also become better, even better than it was before I got sick. This was all due to my Qigong excercise but there was one more step to do. The cancerous cells were not all gone and the surgery would cut off all the cancerous cells to prevent them from recurring. However, based on 250 samples from Hexing Hospital, the survival rate after 5 years was 80%, but without surgery 90% die due to recurrence. That’s why the doctors had ample reasons to advise me to go for surgery. Unfortunately surgery would not only make me partially disabled, but it would destroy my immune system, and would not guarantee from the recurrence of cancer. In addition to that, the origin of cancerous growth came from environmental factors and personal health. Why should I go for the surgery? When I decided against surgery my closet family, friends, and doctors at Hexing Hospital were shocked. They continuously advised even threatened me to go for the surgery. However my decision was final. I did not blindly decided or hastily make this decision but went through great consideration over the matter. Like what the Master said: “The decision comes out from your heart. You are the master of yourself.” (心中有主,主就是主張) Your own decision means an infinite power to you.

As for the process of my cancer treatment, it could be considered as very relaxed. The main drive for that were the words “Wu Ju – 無懼” or no fear! Since my Will had already been completed, nothing left for me to worry about. I felt like the protagonist in the movie “Hero” who knew that he would die and faced his death like a martyr going home. When you have no fear, instead of ruminating over death you should actively remind yourself daily that life is so precious and that you’re going to live a good life. After my decision of refusing the surgery, in the past one and a half years*** I have done the following to serve as a reference to those of you who are also struck by cancer:

  1. Live a normal life, sleep and wake up early to keep me in a good spirit.
  2. Reduce work loads, reduce the meaningless stress and negative feelings.
  3. Drink anti-oxidation (AQ1400) water.
  4. Eat more fruits, vegetables and organic vegetarian foods following the principle of 4 low 1 high, i.e., low protein, low fat, low sugar, low sodium and high fiber.
  5. Practice Meimen Qigong for two hours daily.
  6. Eat Chinese herbs Tien-Hsien Liquid, Brazilian bee propolis, ATP cellfood, Gamma Linolenic acid, Probiotics, etc.

As for the various anticancer supplements recommended by family and friends, I didn’t use them at all. First, most are very expensive but second, there wasn’t clear proof that it was effective. In addition to my healthy condition and low CEA, there was no reason to spend too much money to buy expensive medications. For me, this method of treating cancer was not only very relaxing but also saved me a lot of money in comparison. I am not against hospital treatment but do not overdo it and know when to stop! Preventing the recurrence of cancer needs a lifestyle changes and toxic free environment. If you think receiving the hospital treatment without changing the toxic environment, I guarantee that your fight against cancer is going to fail. But if you’ve received hospital treatment, without changing changed the toxic environment, and your condition become healthier, the tumor size reduce or even disappear, then it would be time to consider stopping the treatment! On the other hand, if you have cancer, please make it 100% sure that it’s cancer through biopsy because a wrong diagnosis would be very dangerous to your life. Once you’re 100% sure through biopsy that you have cancer, you may contact me through the contact address listed in my website.

*CCRT Combined Chemo-and-Radiation Therapy
**CEA Carcino Embryonic Antigen
*** This letter was written in 2005

PS: Currently Dr. Shu is the Director of Neurosurgery and Naturopathic Clinic in Taipei, Taiwan. There are two web-presentations in Mandarin Chinese on web-TV. In the first one, How to Attain Wellness, doctor Shu talks about how to combine Western and Natural Medicines to combat cancer. In the second presentation, When Cancer meets Natural Medicine, Dr Shu shares more info on his struggle to beat colorectal cancer as well as his stories on helping other patients and his position on why a cancer patient needs to get Western Medical treatment. However, he also emphasized the reasons why he had refused to go through a surgical procedure after he found that his CEA already went down to 0.9. He also discussed what’s wrong in both the Western and Natural medicine treatments according to his observations. I would like to emphasize that Dr. Shu is NOT totally against Western cancer treatments. I hope one day we can see the English sub-title of these web presentations. For the time being, I think a Chinese friend over a cup of hot drink may be a good source to find out the content of these two presentations. Good luck. (drt)

Disclaimer: The information or materials posted here are provided for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

{ 10 comments… add one }
  • drt August 16, 2008, 9:11 pm

    Some thing was wrong in previous posting and the comment box was closed. Finally I just simply copied the content, deleted the old post and reposted the content here.

    After talking to Dr. Shu tonight, I just realized that I’ve misspelled his last name. That has been corrected. So does the change of ‘colon cancer’ to ‘colorectal cancer’, and the correct wording for the acronym CCRT. There are some descrepancies in the items of the list of what Dr. Shu is taking in the original letter and this translation. Those changes were based on the latest info from Dr. Shu. I didn’t made those up.

    There has been many criticisms to Dr. Shu’s methods in Taiwan, and Dr. Shu welcome any comment from English speaking readers. If you have any question to ask Dr. Shu, you may post a note here so I can email you Dr. Shu’s email address. Yes, Dr. Shu speaks English and he was a Clinical Fellow at Henry Ford Hospital and Pittsburgh University Hospital back in 1986-87. 😆

  • drt August 19, 2008, 9:16 pm

    Tonight I found an interesting article on Qigong, which was spelled as Qi-kung in Taiwan Review site and here is the copy of what they said about Dr. Shu:

    For David Shu, the science was obvious, once he started training. His qi kung master insisted on following training sessions in a specific sequence that required him to relax and control his breathing before proceeding to the next stage. Today he is practicing taichi chuan, even though he remains skeptical about other alternative paths to health.

    However, the scientific, step-by-step approach is precisely what puts some people off–particularly those looking for a crash course and an immediate cure. Lee Feng-shan says this is not the right attitude to have, but admits that some eccentric teachers–so-called “inspirational” masters, some of whom teach qi kung without practicing it in a serious manner themselves–do exist.

    “Only those with the right attitude can seek out the true master,” he says.

    But, equally, say qi kung masters, once students choose their teacher, they have to follow the teacher’s instructions to the letter if they want to achieve the desired results. Determination and confidence are also not to be underestimated.

    “It was easier for me to become healthier through qi kung because I accepted it when I saw it happening,” says Shu, who maintains that those who do not practice whole-heartedly could even end up with worse health, if they take up qi kung while suffering from cancer. “If they lack confidence while using qi kung therapy, they sometimes end up going back to the hospitals, where the doctors blame them for seeking help in alternative treatments.”

    For Shu, his experience proves that qi kung qualifies at least as an alternative to orthodox Western medical treatment.

    “Now I advise my patients to avoid surgery unless it is obviously necessary, and recommend they take up qi kung,” Shu says. “Often I offer a second opinion that differs from that of other doctors, and I spend time communicating with my patients, telling them about the importance of living a relaxed life when fighting illnesses.”

    In other words, Shu has become a convert, and teachers such as Lee Feng-shan are not alone in believing there is great potential for the development of qi kung. With 40 years of experience behind him, Lee has now established nine centers islandwide where thousands of qi kung learners, including children, carry out their moves. There are also courses exclusively for cancer patients, who number more than 100 currently, while the master travels abroad several times a year to promote qi kung and exchange views with local qi kung researchers and practitioners.

    In the meantime, although qi kung is gaining acceptance as a means of attaining good health, it remains an alternative, auxiliary therapy, and much of society chooses to ignore it. Perhaps for most people, it is simply a case of having never experienced it first-hand.

    Please read the rest of the article there.

  • Colon Leaf September 6, 2008, 9:51 am

    great post on colon cancer

  • James Williams October 20, 2008, 6:45 pm

    Dr. Shu,

    Thank you for sharing your ideas and methods of fighting cancer. I am in Canada and my wife( Taiwanese) and sister-in law have called you for extra advice to help me.

    I have Renal Cell Carcinoma, I am at stage 4. It has been stable for 1 year.By maintaining your routines and using your advice i hope to keep it stable for many years.I am riding a bicycle again and enjoying the chi gong activity. ( and yoga too)

    Thanks again for sharing your experience!


    James Williams, Edmonton, Canada

  • Mei August 20, 2009, 4:01 am

    I have questions to ask Dr. Shu, so can you email me Dr. Shu’s email address please? Thank you very much!

  • drt August 20, 2009, 6:38 am


    Dr. Shu’s email address and phone number can be found at the bottom of this page. Please scroll all the way down. Good luck!

  • bonnie german December 4, 2011, 9:41 am

    dear dr. shu. am a cancer survior. my cancer is still not gone. i have face cancer that is eating my face away. am disfigured and i feel alone. ive been to so many doctors but none seem to care. i havent had chemo are radation. i just sit here everyday praying that they get off there behinds and do something. i dont know what else to do. please point me in the right direction and ill do it. ive put my foot in the door but just get it slammed once again. thank you for your time.

  • Eliane November 6, 2013, 3:32 am

    Hi, dr.Shu. I am eliane, from malaysia. Can provide me more info about the tien-sian liquid? How to purchase? My father had been diagnosed with nasopharyngeal cancer, thinking of let him try it. Thanks.

  • drt November 6, 2013, 5:03 pm

    Hi Eliane,

    I’m sorry to know that your father had been diagnosed with nasopharyngeal cancer. However, I’m not Dr. Shu, and you have to visit Dr. Shu’s website in this link to find more info on various cancers. As for the Tien-Sian Liquid, or Tian Xian Liquid (using pinying), you may find some additional info on this site. I know there are some local Tian Xian Liquid distributor in Kuala Lumpur. Just google ‘Tian Xian Liquid Malaysia’ and you should be able to find them. No, I don’t have any business relation with them.

    Hope this help.

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