Alternative and Complementary Treatments for Cancer
More than 42 percent of the population of the United States has begun using alternative therapies. In fact, in 1997 more people went to alternative therapists than their primary care physicians. Most of these alternative, integrative methods have not been proven scientifically, though many are complementary, supportive methods to aid traditional treatments.
Cancer patients have often found these alternative medicines help in reducing symptoms and promoting a longer survival rate. Nearly 80 percent of cancer patients try alternative medicines. “At The Christ Hospital Cancer Center, patients have shown an active interest in pursuing “complementary” therapies. Complementary therapies can include: spirituality, massages, aromatherapy, yoga, as well as herbal/mineral supplements and nutrition,” says Connie Cook, manager of the Cancer Center.
It is important for patients to consult with their doctor before beginning any alternate form of therapy, as therapies may interfere with other forms of treatments. For example, herbs may have a negative reaction when mixed with radiation or chemotherapy.
Before beginning any new integrative treatment, ask your doctor:
- Will it interfere with other treatments?
- Do the creators of the treatment have good credentials and are they willing to publish their results?
- Is the treatment costly?
- Has information about this form of alternative therapy been published?
Here are some examples of alternative therapies used to treat cancer:
- Physical – massage, chiropractic, yoga, osteopathy, Chi gong
- Psychological – support groups, imagery, journaling, hypnotherapy
- Spiritual – prayer, healing touch
- Herbal – vitamins, vegetarian diet, tea
- Historic – acupuncture, traditional Chinese medicine
- Pharmacological – shark cartilage, hydrazine sulfate
- Electromagnetic – magnets
According to J. S., M.D., from the Alliance Institute for Integrative Medicine, “Acupuncture is excellent for treating the pain and nausea associated with chemotherapy.” The Alliance Institute for Integrative Medicine is one of the top six holistic centers in the nation. Physicians at Alliance Institute for Integrative Medicine will work with your primary care physician to provide the best treatment for you.
Remember, you should talk to your doctor first about what alternative therapies may help your treatment.
Healthy Living Article List
|For Women||For Seniors||Fighting Cancer||Your Heart||Emergency 101|
|Work Smart||Bones, Muscles and Joints||Nutrition News||Advice From Our Docs|