While many scams and get-rich-quick schemes involve “alternative cancer therapies”, many reputable hospitals and non-profit organizations are also researching non-traditional therapy methods that can offer many of the same benefits. The study of Complimentary and Alternative Medicine (CAM), while still relatively new, has shown promise to patients who are looking for ways to gain the benefits of current modes of treatment while alleviating many of the painful side effects. Some of these alternatives include:
- Acupuncture to manage pain
- Dietary supplements to maintain energy
- Yoga and other stretching exercises to keep up muscle strength and flexibility
- Therapeutic activities (e.g. art therapy) to combat depression and anxiety
Patients often find comfort in these methods for several reasons:
- The patient is taking an active approach to their treatment regimen. This approach helps the patient to feel less like a “lab rat” or a “guinea pig” than in a clinical setting.
- The patient understands how these methods can add to the effectiveness clinical treatment sessions.
- Most CAM methods are administered in more welcoming and inviting environments. These settings allow the patient to take a break from the cold, sterile surroundings of hospitals and doctor’s offices.
Patients should always check with their doctor or health care professional regarding CAM methods. They should also attempt to do thorough research on the costs and benefits of different CAM treatments.