April 24, 2019
By: Dr. Amit Rana

Alternative therapies for Cancer

Many people who have cancer are rather interested in trying anything that can cure them out of this in one piece including complementary and alternative cancer therapies. Alternative cancer treatments can offer some feeling of control over cancer but many alternative cancer treatments are unproven and can be even dangerous. Alternative treatments may not play a direct role in curing cancer but they can help the patients cope up with signs and symptoms such as anxiety, fatigue, nausea, and vomiting and pain difficulty in sleeping and stress may be lessened by alternative cancer treatments. Before taking any kind of alternative treatment is largely advised that the patients should go on a one on one sit down with their doctor and discuss everything.

Many alternative treatments for cancer is expensive. Some therapies may cost a few hundred a months whereas others might even cost up to lakhs per month.

Alternative therapies-

1.  Acupuncture: In acupuncture treatment, a doctor inserts tiny needles into the skin at precise points. Studies have shown that acupuncture can help relieve nausea caused by chemotherapy also it can help relieve certain kinds of pains for people with cancer. Acupuncture is safe if it is performed by a licensed practitioner using sterile needles, acupuncture is not safe if the patient is taking blood thinners or is having low blood counts.

2.  Aromatherapy: aromatherapy involves the usage of fragrant oils to provide a calming sensation. Oils mixed with lavender can be applied on the skin during a massage session or can be mixed with the bath water. Aromatherapy may be helpful in releasing stress, pain, and nausea. Although aromatherapy is safe but the oils can cause allergic reactions on the skin and can cause inflammation. People with cancer that is estrogen sensitive especially some breast cancer types should avoid the application of large amounts of lavender oil or tea oil on the skin.

3.  Exercise: exercising can help manage signs and symptoms during and after the period of cancer treatment. Gentle exercise may help patients get relief from fatigue and stress and also help them have a good sleep. Nowadays many studies are showing that doing general exercise or any kind of exercise can help cancer patients live longer and improve the quality of their life.

4.  Hypnosis: Hypnosis is a deep state of concentration. During a hypnosis session, a therapist may hypnotize a person by taking in a gentle or low voice and helping the person calm down in a soothing way and thus helping the person relax. The therapist can even help the patients focus more on goals by controlling the pain and reducing the stress. Hypnosis can help a person with cancer who is experiencing anxiety, pain, and stress, it may even prevent anticipated nausea and vomiting is chemotherapy has made the patient sick in the past. Hypnosis should not be performed on a patient with mental illness as it can cause more diverse effects.

5.  Massage: during a massage session the practitioner can release the tension from the muscle making the patient feel light and relaxed with peace at mind. Studies have found out that massage can be used the get rid of pain from patients who have cancer. Massage can be safe if the therapist is knowledgeable. Even many cancer treatment centers have massage therapists as the staff who give massage regularly to people with cancer. However, it is better to avoid massage if the patient’s blood count is very low. Also, the massage therapist should avoid massaging near surgical scars, radiation treatment areas or tumor.

6.  Music therapy: during music therapy sessions the person may be asked to sing songs, listen to music, play musical instruments or write down lyrics. A trained music therapist may lead the patents through sessions designed to meet the specific needs of the person. Music therapy may help get rid of pain and control nausea or occasional vomiting. Musical therapy is the safest and does not require any musical talent to participate.

7.  Tai chi: it is a form of exercise that involves gentle movements and deep breathing. Practicing tai chi help relieves stress and alleviates the body and mind. Tai chi is safe and the slow movements of tai chi do not require and great physical strength.