Alternative cancer treatments may address patients’ needs beyond the conventional thinking that revolves around surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy – the cut, burn, and poison approach.
These alternative methods may help you cope with anxiety, fatigue, nausea, and vomiting. Also, these treatments may ease pain, address difficulty sleeping, and relieve stress.
Among the natural cancer treatments are:
Hyperthermia – Studies have shown a significant reduction in tumor size when combining hyperthermia with other therapies.
Herbal Medicine – enhances chemo and radiation effectiveness while reducing side-effects.
Biological Treatment – Immunotherapy uses biological response modifiers (BRMs) to enhance the immune system to increase the body’s natural defense mechanisms against cancer.
Metabolic Treatment – Also known as nutritional therapies, metabolic treatments work to rid the body of the accumulation of toxins in the body from sources such as food additives, preservatives, pesticides, and industrial pollution.
Integrative cancer treatments are becoming standard within oncology practices. The leading treatments include:
Insulin Potentiation Therapy – IPT uses a combination of insulin and low-dose chemotherapy; cancer cells have highly active insulin receptors, and IPT takes advantage of this characteristic.
Metronomic Therapy – Low doses of chemotherapeutic drugs administered frequently (“metronomic” dosing) can affect tumor tissue and inhibit tumor growth.
Anti-Angiogenic Therapy – Anti-angiogenic agents, identification of potential targets, and understanding molecular mechanisms by which these agents elicit responses have made it possible to use anti-angiogenic therapy as an effective treatment of many cancers.
Viral Immune Therapy – A virus is injected into the tumor, and then the virus enters the cancer cells. As the cells die, they release antigens to trigger the patient’s immune system to target the cancer cells with the same antigens.
Other alternative cancer treatments focus on the mind and body:
Acupuncture – Studies show acupuncture may relieve chemo-induced nausea and certain types of pain in people with cancer.
Aromatherapy – The use of fragrant oils (essential oils) provide a calming sensation. Aromatherapy has been proven to relieve nausea, pain, and stress.
Exercise – Low-impact exercise relieves fatigue and stress and will help you sleep better. Research shows that exercise can help people with cancer live longer with an improved quality of life.
Hypnosis – Studies show hypnosis may help people overcome anxiety, pain, and stress.
Massage – Research has shown massage can be useful in relieving pain. It also may help reduce anxiety, fatigue, and stress.
Meditation – Deep-breathing or relaxation exercises may help cancer patients by relieving anxiety and stress.
Music Therapy – A trained music therapist can help relieve pain and control nausea and vomiting. (Music therapy does not require any musical talent to participate!)
Relaxation Techniques – Activities such as visualization exercises or progressive muscle relaxation are helpful to relieve anxiety and fatigue. These techniques also may help you sleep better.
Tai chi – This exercise includes slow movements and deep breathing to help relieve stress. The activities can be adapted to your abilities, and do not make any moves that cause pain.
Yoga – This exercise requires bending, stretching, and twisting. Yoga provides stress relief and has been shown to reduce fatigue and improve sleep.
Discuss options with your doctor to determine the right balance between traditional medicines and alternative cancer treatments. Together, you can implement which strategies might work for you and eliminate those likely to have no benefit.