Doctor fights cancer naturally

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Doctor fights cancer naturally


Koh Chang-soon, an honorary professor at Seoul National University, has survived three battles against cancer. Dr. Koh, 75, developed colon cancer at the age of 26 when he was studying in Japan, and then cancer of the duodenum when he was 51 and a vice director of Seoul National University Hospital. When he retired at the age of 65, he found he had liver cancer.
However, don’t talk about despair, as Dr. Koh continues to fight with grim determination all of the illnesses that assail him. At present, he’s also afflicted with Parkinson’s disease as well as the remnants of cancer ― both of which he fights using his ki (life energy) ― but this still doesn’t prevent him from continuing his energetic activities, which included publishing a book recently titled “Never Be Dispirited by Cancer.”
The skin on Dr. Koh’s abdomen is scarred after multiple operations to remove tumors and looks like a field suffering from drought. His war against cancer is often painful and sometimes he gets angry, frustrated, irritated and even fearful as he questions why he seems destined to get cancer.
But if a patient suffering from cancer doesn’t think of fighting it, Dr. Koh says, then their body will soon collapse.
Dr. Koh fights his illnesses with a strong spirit, courage and bodily strength. He attended medical conferences held in Japan and France soon after having surgery, although he was reduced to practically skin and bones. More incredibly, right after the meeting in France, he traveled around the Alps for two weeks. Dr. Koh tells himself “I feel this pain because I’m alive,” when the torment gets too much.
The last operation to get rid of a tumor in his liver took 16 hours. As soon as Dr. Koh came to from the anesthetic after the surgery, he did his best to move his toes. His doctor advised him to take big breaths in and out, which sounds awkward, but when you can’t move your body, breathing itself is great exercise because it provides oxygen to the body and moves the internal organs. Dr. Koh exercised grasping the bars of his hospital bed when he was in intensive care, while various tubes provided his body with painkillers, nutrients and antibiotics. These days, he does light gym exercises including stretching, and undergoes accupressure. Dr. Koh compares these activities to riding a bicycle when emphasizing the importance of steady exercise ― if he doesn’t keep pedaling, the bicycle falls down.
Dr. Koh swears by complementary medicine such as health foods because they raise immunity, but only those whose effect has been medically verified. In order to use these, however, a patient should know a lot about them. Dr. Koh jokes that one should keep in mind that good medicine is cheap ― clean air, water and good food are basic for taking care of health, while laughter and crying are treatments that have no side effects, he says. Dr. Koh notes that one should laugh heartily when amused and bawl loudly when crying. “When I laugh, even unpleasant thoughts change to pleasant ones,” he says, adding that accepting death is also helpful as it removes the fear of cancer.
One should eat well to beat cancer. Dr. Koh suffered severe weight loss after one operation as when he ate food he felt like he was chewing sand. But in order to recover, he had to eat so he left for Japan because he missed Japanese home-style food that he ate when he was studying there. However, on arriving in Japan he felt the urge for Korean food. The smell of broiled small intestines of cattle coming from a Korean restaurant in an alley of Shinjuku, western Tokyo, attracted Dr. Koh and he ended up eating these along with seaweed soup ― things he continues to enjoy today. Dr. Koh advises cancer patients to eat a wide variety of foods including fresh and organic farm products, but only until they are full ― they shouldn’t over-eat.
“Cancer is a ‘knave’ that is met in a secluded alley. There is no way to avoid it. But instead of hating or cursing this ‘bad friend,’ it’s better to calm it down and send it out of the body,” Dr. Koh says, adding, “One should be patient until the cancer gets better from good living habits and looking after the body.”
Even when Dr. Koh is in a difficult situation, he asks people, “Isn’t this amusing?” He believes that feeling peaceful and happy with a regard for beauty, and having a positive and optimistic way of thinking, alongside laughter, makes cancer “amiable.”

by Ko Jong-kwan
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