TREATMENT OF CANCER BY THAI FOLK DOCTOR: A CASE STUDY IN CENTRAL REGION OF THAILAND
In Thailand, it was clear that the non-communicable diseases were the main cause of death, about 320,000 people dead per year. Cancer was one in five of the chronic non-communicable diseases, and was one of the top 10 diseases that were the cause of human death today. Folk medicine was an alternative medicine in Thailand. This research was aim to collect cancer treatment knowledge of folk medicine from folk healers, and to analyze folk wisdom about the symptoms, diagnosis, drug formulation, and treatment methods of cancer by folk doctors. The sample group in this research was consist of 4 folk doctors, who have inherited the knowledge from the ancestors, and 7 cancer patients, who were treated by folk healers. This was qualitative research method using qualitative research by in-depth interview. The tools were questionnaire, and in-depth interview form for folk doctors. Another tools were questionnaire, and in-depth interview form for the patients. The first folk doctor was Mr. Charoen Sangphap, 61 years old, the second folk doctor was Mrs. Som-O Kirkchaiwan, 78 years old, the third folk doctor was Mr. Prempree Ruayphinich, 68 years old, and the fourth folk doctor was Mr. Choocheep Kongkasri, 81 years old. Based on cancer patients interviewing, the details were as follows: the first patient was female, suffering from breast cancer, the second patient was female, suffering from bowel cancer, the third patient was female, suffering from breast cancer, the fourth patient was female, suffering from breast cancer, the fifth patient was male, suffering from liver cancer, the sixth patient was female, suffering from breast cancer, and the seventh patient was male, suffering from bowel cancer, respectively. The diagnosis and treatment of each folk doctor was different depending on the knowledge that has been received, which was mainly treated with herbal medicines. Cancer treatment must refrain from forbidden food. Everyone was satisfied with the treatment by folk doctor.
Keywords: Folk doctor, Herbal medicines, Cancer