When determining the best course of treatment, they often look to complementary, integrative, and holistic medicine for alternative breast cancer therapies. Complementary and alternative medicine offers several ways to help manage symptoms and tolerate the harsh side effects of conventional cancer treatments, and alternative cancer therapies can be used in conjunction with conventional treatments to offer breast cancer patients the best quality of life possible.
The causes of breast cancer are still not well understood and diagnosing a specific source can be difficult. As with other cancers, there are many genetic, environmental, dietary, and lifestyle factors to consider. Several known risk factors can increase the likelihood of developing breast cancer, including:
Being proactive about cancer prevention early in life can significantly reduce the risk for breast cancer later on. The best methods of breast cancer prevention include the following:
Radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and other conventional cancer treatments can cause undesirable side effects like hair loss, nausea, vomiting, chronic fatigue, and muscle atrophy. Complementary and alternative therapies can benefit breast cancer patients by providing relief from these side effects. They can also improve conventional treatment outcomes, reduce cancer recurrence, eliminate other health problems, and enhance patients’ quality of life.
Complementary and alternative breast cancer therapies include the following:
Acupuncture. Acupuncture can help relieve nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy and is a widely utilized and widely accepted complementary breast cancer therapy.
Herbs and Dietary Supplements. Various herbs and supplements can enhance the efficacy of chemotherapy and radiation therapy and reduce their side effects. Calendula officinalis is an effective topical treatment for radiation dermatitis. Flaxseed oil can enhance the effectiveness of low dose Trastuzumab in reducing the growth of certain breast cancer tumors. The flavonoid quercetin, when combined with an intratumoral doxorubicin injection, can reduce the size of some breast cancer tumors.
Relaxation Therapy. Progressive relaxation, massage, meditation, and other relaxation techniques can offer relief from the pain and psychological stress associated with cancer treatment.
Lifestyle Changes. Losing excess fat, exercising, and following a healthy diet high in fresh fruits and vegetables and low in trans fats and processed foods helps increase energy, improve quality of life, and prevent breast cancer recurrence.
Religious and Spiritual Support. Prayer is often the number one utilized alternative therapy for chronic disease. Religious, spiritual, and familial support all play an important role in recovery through social support, stress reduction, and an optimistic attitude.
“I went through blood test with Tom and found where I react foodwise. I went through an elimination diet too, underwent the supplementation program. It’s just remarkable. It has tripled my training capacity. My ability to handle long hard work workouts has tripled. When you think about a guy that is 50 years old that can train three times as much as other guys, it really is kind of an unfair disadvantage. This has been a life changing experience for me as an athlete… I’m working out longer and harder now then I did when I was 20 and I’m recovering better from it.”
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