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Treating Cancer with Integrative Medicine
If you have been diagnosed with cancer, your primary desire would be to treat the disease and get some relief. Integrative medicine (IM) is used to describe medical practices or products that are not standardized. This often comprises of massage, meditation and acupuncture. The standard treatments for cancer are chemotherapy, surgery, biological therapy and radiation.
Integrative medicine is extra care used with standard care. It guarantees the best result from the two treatments. IM promotes collaboration between care providers and patients. This means that patients are participating actively in their procedures as partners with their doctor.
Please understand that some forms of IM may help with cancer treatments and the side effects of procedures, but none of them have been verified to heal cancer totally.
When is IM beneficial?
Integrative medicine can reduce the usual side effects of cancer or its treatment procedures such as pain, anxiety, fatigue and nausea. Some cancer centers include the therapies in their treatment plans.
Communicate with your doctor before anything
Before adopting IM, you should speak with your primary physician first. Use of vitamins and other supplements are not exempted. Treatments that are safe can be dangerous for cancer patients. For instance, St. John’s Wort can inhibit the function of certain cancer drugs. Excess dosage of vitamin C can affect the effectiveness of radiation and chemotherapy.
Additionally, not everyone can benefit from all forms of therapy. Your doctor can guide you on the suitability of specific treatments.
The following types of IM assist in treating cancer:
Acupuncture: This early Chinese form of medicine can help ease nausea and vomiting. It can also help to lessen hot flashes and cancer pain. Ensure that the acupuncturist uses only sterilized needles since cancer predisposes you to the threat of infections.
Massage therapy: Having the body massaged can help lessen pain, depression, unease and queasiness. Before getting a massage, consult your primary care doctor to know if there are parts of your body to avoid.
Aromatherapy: This treatment uses essential oils to boost wellbeing and mood. It can also help reduce pain, ease stress, nausea and depression. While there is no health risk associated with essential oils, they can trigger allergic responses, nausea and headache in some patients.
Ginger: This herb works well for nausea caused by cancer treatment, and patients use it along with standard anti-nausea drugs.
Yoga: This old mind-body act can help with depression, fear and stress. Before practicing yoga, consult with your doctor to know if you should avoid certain poses or classes.
Meditation: People meditate to reduce worries, stress, sleep issues and fatigue.
Biofeedback: This treatment helps to reduce cancer pains. It can also help you sleep better.
These practices pose no risk for most patients. Before starting any of them, be sure to ask your doctor to know if they are suitable for you.
Right now, there is no proof that any form of integrative medicine can treat or cure cancer. Although many products are claiming to cure cancer, they have no scientific study backing. Make sure you consult your physician before trying any of those products.
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