The fight against cancer is slowly veering away from toxic, synthetic treatments to less toxic alternative cancer cures. But what is alternative medicine? Is it effective against cancer?
Alternative medicine is fast gaining popularity among cancer patients due to various reasons. A recent study published in JAMA Oncology revealed that about one-third of cancer patients use alternative cancer treatments. While the success rates of alternative medicine vary, one thing’s for sure – they are effective against cancer.
What is Alternative Medicine?
Alternative medicine refers to treatments and therapies that are not part of conventional medicine but are used in managing health conditions. Typically, alternative therapies are natural-based and
Various alternative therapies manage the side effects of traditional cancer treatments or stop cancer from growing and spreading. Unlike conventional medicines, many alternative remedies have no scientific basis. However, anecdotal reports and testimonials show positive benefits for patients struggling with cancer.
Once cancer has metastasized and treatment options exhausted, many patients consider alternative treatments. You may have heard about it from family and friends or someone who has recovered using these therapies.
Some doctors widely recommend alternative therapies such as mindfulness, tai chi, meditation, yoga, natural supplements, and other mind-body interventions. These alternative treatments can help reduce the adverse effects of conventional medicine, alleviate stress, improve mental health and overall well-being, and keep patients fit during treatment. There are even hospitals that offer alternative medicine centers for cancer patients.
Homeopaths, acupuncturists, osteopaths, massage therapists, and chiropractors also provide alternative interventions for cancer. Energy therapy, acupuncture, light therapy, and homeopathic treatments help alleviate pain and other cancer symptoms.
Immunotherapy is a popular alternative cancer treatment that is the opposite of chemotherapy. According to specialists at Alternative Cancer Treatment Center, Euromed Foundation, immunotherapy trains the body’s natural immunity to detect and fight cancer cells. With chemotherapy, healthy cells are killed along the process, resulting in unwanted side effects such as nausea, vomiting, fever, depression, headaches, hair loss, and many more. Some patients have feeble health that they cannot proceed with such an aggressive treatment regimen.
Immune-boosting therapies have a favorable success rate at around 15% and unusually long remissions. They have shown positive results even with the most dreaded cancer types. Immunotherapy is a potentially significant turning point in cancer medicine as a less toxic approach to cancer eradication.
Is It Effective Against Cancer?
In general, alternative medicine is beneficial for cancer patients. However, its success rate may vary depending on many factors such as the cancer type, severity, and overall patient well-being. Since countless alternative treatments are used as a cancer cure and a lack of funding for its intensive study, it is difficult to gauge its effectiveness.
Although natural alternative therapies for cancer are not known to cause side effects, patients may experience untoward effects if the treatments are not properly administered or followed. For example, restricting certain food groups in your diet can deprive your body of some much-needed nutrients, minerals, or vitamins. Likewise, overdosing on specific herbal preparations can lead to adverse effects. Some alternative cancer treatments may be costly that can affect compliance.
Frank Shallenberger MD warns patients to be wary about alternative therapies with too good to be true promises. Spurious alternative cancer treatment clinics or healthcare providers have mushroomed over the past few years. Some of these clinics claim to cure all types of cancer regardless of stage and severity. It also raises a red flag if the providers are not accredited or experienced. It pays to check and review their website and ask about past clients. Likewise, be suspicious of alternative treatment clinics that require you to travel abroad.
Alternative medicine is increasingly sought after by cancer patients. They turn to non-conventional therapies for many reasons, including to gain a sense of control over their medical care, adverse effects of chemotherapy, and persistent psychological distress.
For cancer patients, they won’t leave any stone unturned. And while some medical experts frown over alternative medicine, the numerous anecdotal and firsthand experiences of patients offer a glimmer of hope. As modern medicine continues to explore and learn more about alternative cancer treatments, it is without a doubt that it will eventually gain acceptance.