Often when you hear about alternative and complementary cancer treatment, they are grouped together to form what is commonly known as CAM, or Complementary and Alternative Medicine. When referred to in this context, it mainly describes treatments or practices implemented alongside standard treatment, or to help alleviate some of the harsh side effects that usually accompany chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery. According to a survey conducted by the American Society of Clinical Oncology, approximately 40% of people believe that alternative medicine alone can treat or cure cancer.
What Is Alternative Cancer Treatment?
With increased cancer awareness comes an increased demand for treatments that work in alignment with the body’s natural processes rather than breaking them down. While alternative cancer treatments can be used to complement standard treatment or to reduce side effects, by true definition, they are used in place of conventional medicine and are considered by some to pose risks. We recommend that all forms of alternative treatment are discussed fully with doctors before beginning a regimen.
There has been an amazing increase of information about these types of therapies, whether from bloggers, journalists or cancer survivors themselves. This can easily lead to confusion, feeling saturated, and even treating our body like a guinea-pig, trying everything and anything someone else has done.
We advise using kinesiology (muscle testing) or technology like the Vega test & GSR scan to allow your body a voice in directing your healthcare. This technology ensures the oral remedies you are taking are not only the most efficient for your body but that they are specific to you in the right dosage and for the right amount of time. This method can also be used for a personalized diet.
For the intravenous therapies that typically require a commitment of a minimum of 6 months to reap the full benefits, again we advise giving your body a vote first! A specific blood test that analyzes the individual’s cancer cells in a laboratory setting to test how effective the different types of chemotherapies and natural substances, such as vitamin C, will be in treatment is invaluable.
Biomagnetic Therapy, also referred to as Terrain Restoration Therapy, uses magnets placed over various vital organs in the body for a period, and is thought to shift the body’s natural pH, making cancer more effectively treated.
What Is Complementary Cancer Treatment?
Unlike alternative treatments intended to replace conventional medicine, complementary therapies (also referred to as integrative therapies) are natural treatments or practices designed to support, or complement standard forms of cancer treatment. Generally, people use these therapies to reduce the side effects of conventional treatments, improve their physical and emotional well-being, and to improve overall recovery.
Physical activity plays a vital role in recovery and feeling your best throughout treatment, as it builds overall strength and endurance, and can be helpful with relaxation and coping with stress and depression because our body produces endorphins and enkephalins, also known as happy hormones. It has also been shown to relieve pain, help with fatigue, and extend life in general. Symmetric exercises like walking, swimming, and cycling are invaluable forms of physical activity that can be modified to each persons’ energy level and ability. Keep in mind, it’s not about being concerned with building muscle but rather with getting our circulation going.
Proper nutrition can help to cope with nausea experienced as a side effect of chemotherapy and can help to manage weight changes and maintain the body’s natural pH balance. Specific diets, such as the Ketogenic Diet, have been proposed as adjuvant therapies in cancer treatment. However, learning about supplements needed in any particular diet such as Keto Electrolytes, and how each supplement could interfere with treatment is extremely important.
Acupuncture and therapies that help balance the energy point used in Chinese medicine are a popular form of complementary treatment, as they have a long list of areas in which they are known to be beneficial. According to the National Library of Medicine, research has demonstrated acupuncture to be a safe and effective adjunct therapy in the management of cancer and treating related symptoms. Clinical trials have shown its effectiveness in alleviating cancer-related pain, neutropenia resulting from chemotherapy, cancer fatigue, anxiety, and radiation-induced xerostomia.
Deep breathing, also known as guided visualization techniques, are mind/body practices that can collectively help with the reduction of stress, improvement of mood and physical well-being, including boosting immunity and reducing inflammation.
The Budwig Center Advantage
Whether using complementary or alternative treatments, it is important to seek medical guidance and ensure that all chosen therapies work well for your individual needs. The Budwig Center has the advantage above other centers in having a medical team working along with naturopathic practitioners and therapists. Our seasoned professionals have experience working together to ensure complementary treatments are specifically indicated for your physical condition as well as providing supervision throughout treatment.
To learn more about what we do at our clinic, watch this video: