"Alternative Treatment" is a term that is generally used to describe a cancer treatment that may not be widely accepted by the medical community and is not considered conventional. Despite decades of resistance, however, doctors have begun to sing the praises of many alternative treatments for cancer, especially when they are used in tandem with traditional therapies such as radiation and chemotherapy.
Many meso victims choose these alternative treatments as palliative measures because they tend to be good at reducing the pain and stress caused by the disease or by treatments such as chemotherapy. None have been known to cure cancer but they do help improve the quality of life for the patient and those around him.
An ancient Chinese form of medicine, acupuncture is becoming more and more widely accepted by the traditional medical community and some doctors and hospitals are even adding it to the list of services performed in their offices or facilities. Known to provide relief from chronic pain and inflammation and also to relieve stress and promote relaxation, acupuncture involves placing thin needles at certain trigger points on the body. It can be performed as often as needed without causing harm. In some instances, it is covered by medical insurance.
Many cancer patients note that meditation both reduces stress and helps with pain management. A few studies have reported that meditation might also slow tumor growth but this has not been proven. Meditation is also cost effective. Once an individual learns how to achieve a state of meditation, they can call upon these skills at any time without the help of a professional.
Also used to address chronic pain and stress, massage helps to improve circulation and blood flow and also relieves tension in the muscles. Various kinds of massage are available, but the massage technician should be made aware of the fact that the patient has cancer and should know where the cancer is located so as not to cause harm or further pain. For example, individuals undergoing radiation may find massage painful as will those whose mesothelioma has metastasized to the bones.
Used to provide pain relief or to promote an overall feeling of well-being and relieve the depression and anxiety that often accompanies cancer, aromatherapy allows the patient to breathe in the aromas of a combination of essential oils. Often used along with traditional massage therapy, it is generally performed by a massage professional.
Short for Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation, TENS Therapy involves stimulating certain parts of the body with mild electrical shocks delivered by electrodes. TENS is an FDA-approved form of alternative therapy, having been deemed safe for the patient. In addition, the FDA approval means most insurance companies will cover the cost of the treatment.
Yoga can promote peacefulness and also help strengthen the body and mind. Those in relatively good health are candidates for this type of exercise but it may be too difficult and strenuous for some mesothelioma patients.
Eating healthy is always important and having the essential vitamins and minerals for healing and strength is integral when fighting a disease like mesothelioma. That’s why many people turn to supplements when undergoing aggressive cancer treatments, especially when eating right might be difficult. However, patients should always inform their doctors of their intent to take certain supplements as some may interfere with traditional treatments like chemotherapy or radiation.
If you would like to learn more about alternative treatment options and how they can compliment traditional treatment for mesothelioma, please fill out the form on this page to receive a complimentary packet in the mail.