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Complementary and Alternative Treatment for Cancer

Traditionally, doctors have treated cancer with a combination of surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. While this does have high rates of success for some types of cancer, others are not as easily treated. In these cases, cancer patients may decide to complement their traditional treatment with more alternative methods.

What is CAM?

CAM, or complementary and alternative medicine, is the acronym that medical professionals use to describe unconventional cancer treatment. Complementary therapy works to supplement conventional treatment and help with any side effects from regular cancer treatment. Alternative methods seek to completely replace traditional methods.

Why Choose Complementary and Alternative Therapy?

There are several reasons why you may choose to supplement your cancer treatment with CAM. First, this may help you feel more in control of your treatment since you get to decide what complementary therapy you receive. Secondly, alternative treatment allows you to try other methods that you may believe can cure your cancer. Finally, complementary therapy can be a natural way to ease the side effects of cancer and cancer treatment.

Types of CAM

Medical professionals recognize several different types of CAM that people use to treat their cancer. Types of CAM include:

  • Biologically-based methods – use special foods, vitamins, and dietary products
  • Energy management – embraces the belief that the body has “energy centers” that can be manipulated for healing by practicing tai chi, reiki, etc.
  • Manipulative and body-based treatment – massage, chiropractic care, and reflexology for healing
  • Mind-body connection – uses things like yoga, meditation, and hypnosis to help strengthen the power of the mind over the body
  • Whole medical systems – ayurvedic, homeopathy, and Chinese medicine for healing

If you are interested in CAM, it is important to discuss your treatment with your doctor so that you understand how complementary and alternative treatment can help or potentially harm you.

Contact Us

Some cancers, like mesothelioma, do not yet have very specific treatment plans in place. If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma and are interested in your treatment options, including traditional treatment and clinical trials, please contact the Mesothelioma & Asbestos Help Center today.

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