Cancer and Alternative Medicine – A Controversial Topic!

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Cancer and alternative medicine, expanding our choices

Cancer and alternative medicine has always been a controversial issue and science has tended to look at alternative practitioners as “quacks”. There are probably many disreputable alternative practitioners out there that give everyone a bad name, however alternative medicine is growing in popularity and can be a viable option for cancer treatment, either in conjunction with standard methods or in certain cases on their own.

Being diagnosed with cancer changes everything. You either see many possibilities, or you see life ending, abruptly. Depending on what stage you are at time of diagnosis, your oncologist can work with you in determining your best treatment options. There are standard medical treatments for cancer and alternative medicine also claims to have the answers.

Complementary and alternative medicine or CAM is any medical practice or system that is not part of standard care. So for cancer, the standard forms of treatment are: radiation, chemotherapy, biological therapy and surgery. Anything outside these fields will be considered CAM. So how effective is alternative medicine cancer treatment?

Because CAM is still a treatment in progress, for lack of a better word, there is still no set of one alternative medicine that works for all. In fact your choice of alternative medicine or as some would term holistic or natural, depends on what type of cancer you have been diagnosed with and what stage it has reached. Cancer and alternative medicine can be a good match regardless of what standard treatment you are using. There are a multitude of alternative treatments for cancer, some that work and others which nothing but cruel tricks to get your money.

Right now, acupuncture, chiropractic and herbal medicines are the most popular CAM choices. Acupuncture is the Chinese method of using thin needles in penetrating specific pulse points of the body to improve health and well being. Research has shown the in patients undergoing chemotherapy, acupuncture was able to reduce the incidence of nausea and vomiting. This is an effective alternative treatment for cancer and alternative medicine can certainly be used in conjunction with chemotherapy.

Chiropractic in another alternative that some cancer patients choose to use. The basic core beliefs of chiropractic medicine are: the body can heal itself; the body’s structure, mainly the spine, are all related; chiropractic medicine seeks to make this relationship exist in harmony. This is a hands on treatment using spinal manipulation.

Herbal medicines on the other hand are herbs, plants, extracts and dietary supplements that have therapeutic properties. They come in the forms of teas, tablets, capsules, extracts and fresh or dried plants. Though a lot of people are sceptical, some cancer patients believe in going organic and natural, especially during and after chemotherapy. The use of herbal medicines is a popular cancer and alternative medicine choice.

Cancer affects not only the patient but their family, too. Sometimes opinions and advise from many people may lead the patient to making wrong choices. Once diagnosed, it is recommended that you consult your doctor first before using any alternative forms of treatment. Whatever treatment is used, there is going to be suffering from cancer and alternative medicine may help to alleviate this.

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