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Alternative Cancer Treatments – What You Need to Know

The American Society of Clinical Oncology conducted a survey that showed that nearly 40 percent of Americans believe that alternative therapies alone can treat cancer. But the evidence points to the contrary – there’s a higher mortality rate among individuals who use alternative treatments instead of conventional cancer treatments.

The terms “complementary,” “alternative,” and “lifestyle” medicine often refer to various practices, products, and treatments that aren’t part of the traditional or standard medicine. Alternative therapies refer to non-standard approaches used in place of the standard treatment. 

On the other hand, complementary therapies are usually used along with the standard treatment options. Lifestyle medicine refers to an approach used to prevent and treat cancer through physical activity, a healthy diet, and other methods.

Sometimes, complementary approaches can help patients feel better, mainly when used with the standard treatment methods and with the doctor’s advice. 

Complementary and alternative therapies appeal to most people, as they involve the use of the body, mind, and nature. However, these methods may falsely claim to diagnose, treat, or even prevent cancer even when there’s no scientific testing to prove the same.

In worst-case scenarios, some complementary or alternative approaches may be risky or even fatal. Some of these therapies may impair the functioning of standard cancer treatment. Thus, if you intend to apply any non-traditional treatment, you should first consult your primary health care provider.

What Are the Safest Complementary Treatments?

The following therapies will neither cause harm nor interfere with your standard cancer treatment:

  • Acupuncture – it may relieve mild pain and nausea.
  • Music or art – may promote healing and improve your quality of life.
  • Massage therapy – can reduce stress, depression, anxiety, and pain. Studies show that massage can also boost alertness.
  • Prayer and spirituality – addresses the emotional side effects of cancer patients.
  • Bio-feedback – it’s the use of monitoring gadgets to help individuals gain conscious control over processes, such as heart rate, sweating, temperature, muscle tension, and blood pressure.

Final Thoughts

When you’re seeking complementary cancer treatments, do a background check on the person’s education and training promoting or using the treatment approach.

Additionally, be suspicious of a method that purports to offer benefits devoid of any side effects. Steer clear of ‘experts’ who attack the scientific or medical community or advise you to avoid traditional medication.

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