Integrative Therapies Ease (Don't Cure) Cancer Symptoms
Recent Minnesota headlines sparked debates about the use of Western medicine versus alternative medicine in cancer treatment. (See Dr. Archelle Georgiou discuss the specific case in the video on the left.) However, the debate should not focus on one versus the other; rather, it should focus on one and the other.
While there is no alternative treatment that will cure cancer, there are several therapies that can help alleviate some of the symptoms of cancer and the side-effects of conventional treatment. Integrative therapies are most often considered to help with stimulating the immune system, improving life balance, and managing side-effects of the cancer or cancer treatments.
Individuals who receive a cancer diagnosis should first and foremost meet with their healthcare provider to discuss the diagnosis, treatment, and short- and long-term implications of the condition. It is during these conversations that discussions about conventional treatment (such as surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy) should be discussed, along with any complementary/integrative therapy options that might exist.
Some integrative therapies that could be considered as a complement to conventional cancer treatment include:
- Mind-body therapies, such as yoga, hypnosis, meditation, and support groups
- Manual therapies, such as massage therapy or reflexology
- Energy medicine, such as healing touch, therapeutic touch, Reiki and qigong
Learn more about cancer and integrative therapies.