Complementary therapies during cancer care
During and after treatments for cancer multiple complementary therapies can provide some benefit to patients as well as to their families. These treatments address needs that at times are not being addressed by conventional healthcare. The main benefit that these treatments provide is improvement in quality of life and enhanced wellbeing. Rather than competing with conventional cancer care, complementary therapies are complementing conventional care as part of comprehensive cancer care.
Gradually, a more integrated approach to treating/managing cancer patients is evolving. An approach that utilizes various combinations of the two disciplines, conventional and complementary medicine as one integrated healthcare system.
Researchers and health-care professionals are also starting to regard complementary therapies as a new avenue to be explored in cancer symptom control. More and more studies are attempting to describe, understand and evaluate the efficacy of various complementary modalities in management of cancer symptoms.
These therapies have value in different stages during the cancer journey, some have benefit during treatment, some reduce side effects of treatments and some have benefit in preventing some adverse effects while others have value after treatments as well as improve quality of life and general wellbeing.
Not all carry the same benefit, and some carry risk for interacting with some treatments or cause problems of their own. So, one has to be cautious in selecting the right treatment for the right situation, with the right timing.
The recommended therapies
We will describe therapies that were researched and evaluated by respected researchers around the globe as well as bringing our own experience in utilizing these therapies in cancer care. We will concentrate on the few therapies that were found to provide some benefit and carry low potential for harm.
Some of these therapies include:
Touch Therapies: Massage, Reflexology, Shiatsu
Mind Body therapies
Healing and energy treatments
Cancer NewsLine from MD Anderson Cancer Center
Dr. Zwelling talks to Doctors Aggrawal and Frenkel about the research and clinical trials being done with natural products like Curcumin and complementary therapies like Yoga and acupuncture that are proving very effective for treatment of cancer and side effects.
From the University of Wisconsin some tips to address
Breast Cancer treatment Side effects
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