Anybody battling cancer will do anything to overcome the disease – surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy. However, many of the conventional methods of treating cancer can cause life-changing side effects. That's why patients are eager to find the next best non-toxic alternative cancer treatments.
Cancer treatment centers all over the country provide cancer patients with plenty of other options. If you're wondering how alternative cancer treatment centers can help you or your loved one cope and fight with the disease, we’ve listed some of the best reasons below:
1. Most alternative cancer treatment centers also provide complementary and integrative cancer care.
The terms alternative and complementary are often used interchangeably when talking about cancer treatments, but people need to understand that they are not one and the same.
Alternative therapies are used in place of standard treatments, while complementary methods are performed alongside them. On the other hand, integrative care uses non-traditional methods at the suggestion and approval of the oncologist to help patients better tolerate the side effects of their conventional treatments.
Most cancer treatment centers offer CAM (complementary and alternative medicine) and integrative therapies, so patients can choose how to go about their approach to cancer care.
2. CAM therapies are natural and non-toxic and may help alleviate side effects caused by conventional treatments.
There are times when cancer patients feel sick just by thinking about their next conventional therapy schedule. They say that the side effects of standard treatments like nausea, fatigue, anxiety, stress, and sleeping problems decrease their quality of life – and that’s why the idea of a natural treatment appeals to them so much.
Patients who want a more natural treatment with very minimal negative symptoms prefer only to undergo alternative therapies. Others use complementary, integrative, and support care methods with surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation therapy to combat cancer-related side effects.
Another thing that draws people to alternative medicine is its focus on prevention. Conventional medicine will only intervene when the disease is already there and making the person unwell. Alternative medicine, however, also encourages patients to take proactive measures in preventing the occurrence or reoccurrence of cancer.
3. Non-conventional treatments aim for a more holistic healing – mind, body, and spirit.
Cancer treatments aren't just about attacking malignant cells in the body but treating the patient as a whole; providing care for all aspects of the person while he/she battles the disease.
The results of a recent study show that cancer patients going through high levels of stress have 32% less chance of survival, which means there is possibly a strong link between psychological factors and cancer mortality rate.
While conventional medicine views disease as a distinct entity and focuses mainly on treating the physical, cancer treatment centers practice a more holistic approach that incorporates the body, mind, and things found in nature to the healing process.
Integrating acupuncture, massage therapy, art, music, yoga, and prayer – among others – helps address the mental, physical, and spiritual health of the patient. In many cases, complementary and integrative methods help cancer patients feel a lot better and improve their quality of life, especially when used with the advice of a healthcare provider.
4. CAM practitioners offer patients a great deal of personal attention.
The emphasis on whole-body care means that patients undergoing CAM therapies often receive plenty of personal time and attention from their practitioners. Traditional physicians are often strapped for time because of their full-packed schedules and other factors. CAM care providers, however, practice a different care philosophy that encourages one-on-one attention.
Many CAM patients get a lot of comfort from having plenty of touch, talk, and interaction time with their therapist, which helps them cope, stay positive, and hopeful for the future.
A Word of Caution
A lot of people who have cancer are turning to complementary and alternative medicine as a potential cure for the disease or a way to ease its side effects somehow. But while many patients responded well and have put in a favorable word, you need to take these treatments with a grain of salt.
While complementary methods like yoga and meditation can help alleviate the collateral effects of cancer therapies, ingesting supplements may have real-life consequences if they interact negatively or interfere with your conventional treatment. Some may even render your chemotherapy or radiation therapy ineffective.
If you want to switch to an alternative method or are considering a complementary therapy on top of your standard cancer treatment, it would be wise to discuss the decision with your doctor first.