A Answers (3)
Complementary therapies do not necessarily treat cancer, but instead may improve a patient’s quality of life by helping to reduce stress and alleviate some treatment side effects. These therapies include massage, acupuncture, nutritional guidance, meditation, aromatherapy, vitamins and supplements (which careful research has shown to be safe), and of course therapy related to the arts such as music therapy. You should discuss the use of complementary treatments with your doctor. Alternative treatments for the disease itself that fall outside proven, research-based therapies are not a recommended option for patients with cancer.
Stephen Atkins, Nutrition & Dietetics, answered
There are many alternative therapies you can use to manage cancer pain. In this video, Dr. Stephen Atkins, an integrative medicine specialist, discusses one effective method for providing relief to cancer patients.
LIVESTRONG answeredSome complementary or alternative therapies can be used along with medications to help you manage your pain. Some complementary therapies you may want to discuss with your healthcare team are:
- Diet and nutrition
- Herbs, vitamins and minerals
- Tai chi
- Spiritual care
Sometimes a doctor may recommend counseling to help you cope with cancer pain. Stress can make pain worse. Counseling can also lessen the effect of medications. This may lessen the pain. It may also help improve the effectiveness of the pain medication.
Some healthcare professionals are not aware of many types of complementary therapies. Others might think that these methods do not work.
Talk with your doctor if you are interested in adding another method of treatment. Your healthcare team also needs to know about supplements and herbs that you want to try. Some types of therapies or alternative treatments could affect the cancer treatment that has been prescribed by your doctor.