The distribution of Yin-Deficient symptoms and their relationship on survival rate in cancer patients with Yin-Deficiency

Am J Chin Med. 2008;36(4):655-63. doi: 10.1142/S0192415X08006120.


Yin-Deficiency (YD), representing a status of the human body under lack of nutrition and fluid in traditional Chinese medicine, is commonly seen in late stage of cancer patients. It is not known whether the severity of YD related symptoms/signs can predict the survival rate of cancer patients. This study evaluated the distribution of Yin-deficiency symptoms/signs (YDS) in cancer patients with YD, and investigated whether the severity of YDS can predict the survival rate of cancer patients with YD. From 5 January 2007 to 5 May 2007, we selected 43 cancer patients with diagnosis of YD from hospitalized patients and outpatients. The severity of YD was evaluated by a questionnaire. We further estimated the cumulative probabilities of the survival rates over 4 months since the start of study by the Kaplan-Meier product-limit method, and compared the differences among groups with various severities in each symptom/sign with the use of the log-rank test. The results revealed that, the 3 most common YDS were sleeplessness with annoyance, less or non-coated tongue with or without redness and dry mouth. In the survival rate analysis, only 2 parameters, rapidly small pulse (p = 0.002) and less-or non-coated tongue with paleness (p = 0.017), were found to be related to the decrease of cancer patients with YD. This suggests that, both rapidly small pulse and less-or non-coated tongue without redness may be used as predictors for the estimation of survival rate in cancer patients with YD.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Breast Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Breast Neoplasms / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Gastrointestinal Neoplasms / physiopathology
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Lung Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Lung Neoplasms / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders / epidemiology
  • Survival Rate
  • Tongue / pathology*
  • Xerostomia / epidemiology
  • Yin Deficiency / physiopathology*