Therapies that are Alternative Treatments for Cancer
Treatment of cancer can be done using various options. This article seeks to clarify the possible cancer treatment including conventional cancer therapies, complementary therapies and alternative therapies.
These are therapies that are based on evidence and proven scientifically as being effective and safe. They are designed in a manner that diagnoses and treats cancer, slows the growth of cancer cells, or offer relief from side effects and symptoms. The major conventional treatments that are normally used include immunotherapy, hormone therapy, radiation therapy, surgery, and chemotherapy. These treatments are commonly known as conventional or mainstream treatments.
Complementary therapies are alternative treatments for cancer that can be combined with medical conventional treatments in supporting and enhancing your well-being and quality of life. They are not meant to cure cancer. Instead they help in controlling symptoms including fatigue and pain.
Complementary therapies include talking therapies, relaxation, meditation, acupuncture, visualization, aromatherapy, music therapy, and reflexology, massage and art therapy. Some of the complementary therapies are not recommended in the course of your treatment as they may cause interference with your treatment as well as worsen side-effects. It is advisable that you discuss with your physician prior to starting on complementary therapy.
These are alternative treatments for cancer that are used to replace the conventional medical therapies. Alternative therapies have been promoted as being cancer cures but are unproven and lack any scientific evidence. They include Chinese herbs, naturopathy, homeopathy, immune therapy, and megavitamins.
When considering alternative treatments for cancer you will need to get as much information on the therapy by asking several questions including:
- Is the therapy you are considering specifically used on patients that have cancer or for people who are suffering from other diseases?
- What are the side effects if any?
- Who are the persons that will be involved when delivering the therapy?
- What are the qualifications of the people delivering the therapy and are they registered as members of a professional organization?
- What will the therapy cost and is it covered by your health insurance provider?
- What is the aim of the therapy?
- Will the therapy have any effect on your conventional medical treatment?
You should ensure that you feel respected, comfortable, and safe, when undertaking the therapy you have opted for. Your territory or State Cancer Council may have a wide variety of complementary therapies and will also offer answers to any questions you may have.
Integrative care is a therapy approach combining complimentary therapies with conventional cancer treatments over the entire cancer journey. Integrative care is based on the philosophy that as long the health care team watches your treatment carefully through the entire treatment process then the two therapies can work well simultaneously. In integrative cancer care, all persons from both the conventional and complimentary healthcare team are involved and make their suggestions on the best options for your treatment.