What alternative therapies can help treat cancer?

Integrative medicine and wellness services can supplement traditional cancer treatments such as chemotherapy, surgery and radiation therapy. While conventional medicine plays a critical role in eradicating cancer, integrative medicine and wellness programs offer people with cancer and their families ways to enhance the quality of their lives, minimize or reduce the side effects of cancer and cancer treatment, and promote healing and recovery.

Alternative therapies that can help people cope with the cancer experience and improve their overall sense of well-being include:
  • Acupuncture
  • Diet and nutrition
  • Mindfulness-based stress reduction therapy
  • Reiki and massage
  • Reiki therapy
  • Yoga
  • Exercise/rehabilitation

Continue Learning about Alternative & Complementary Care for Cancers

Alternative & Complementary Care for Cancers

Clinical trials are currently underway to see how effective complementary and alternative medicine, or CAM, is as a treatment for cancer. Complementary medicine refers to treatments used in conjunction with conventional medicine, ...

such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Alternative medicine, such as acupuncture, is used as a replacement to conventional medicine. Cancer experts recommend using alternative therapies as a complement to conventional medicine not as a substitute for it. This is because a long clinical history has already been established to explain the effects of traditional medicines against cancer. Some evidence suggests that massage, meditation, aromatherapy, yoga and tai chi can be used to reduce fatigue, pain, nausea and vomiting, stress and sleep problems in cancer patients. Trials in the U.S. are further studying the effects of using supplements with chemotherapy to treat tumors and using acupuncture to reduce the symptoms of colon and rectal cancers.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.