In seeking to improve cancer patients’ quality of life, clinicians have increasingly sought treatments that combine mainstream medicine with evidence-supported alternative practices. This combinative approach to treatment is called complementary medicine, and the building consensus is that it is bringing forward the entire field of oncology. Here’s how.
Alternative medicine strongly supports patient lifestyles. Though it’s not necessarily equipped to handle cancer-killing, when used as a support to chemotherapy, it can allow the body and its immune systems to stay strong through the procedure. Take the utility of mind-body therapy in cancer patients, for example: when receiving this treatment, patients saw marked reductions in anxiety, depression, and distress. Reducing these symptoms can help mitigate the development of other issues.
Easing Pain Naturally
Many cancer patients are wary of mainstream pharmaceutical pain treatments. Recent trends in opioid addiction have increased both physician and patient demand for natural pain remedies with low abuse potentials. Massage therapy has emerged as a promising pain management tool. Studies have shown that Swedish massage and reflexology decrease both anxiety and pain in cancer patients. Researchers have also found success in managing patients’ pain with acupuncture. The procedure’s efficacy may owe to a release of endorphins.
Increasing Survival Rates
Almost any complimentary medicine approach to oncology will encourage exercise. Exercise has a direct, positive effect on survival rates in cancer patients. One systematic review found that the breast, colorectal, and prostate cancer patients who exercised the most had a 37% lower risk of death from the disease than those who exercised the least. This owes to many positive effects of exercise, including but not limited to: management of anxiety, poor moods, and depression, improvement of heart health (offsetting potential damage done to the same by chemo and radiotherapy,) relief of pain, and increase of restorative sleep.
Metro Collaborative is a group of mainstream and alternative clinicians improving the standard of care and success of practices throughout the East Coast. Discuss important issues in complimentary medicine and acquire high-quality referrals at one of their collaborative groups or dinners. Contact Metro Collaborative at (609) 876-9163 or visit their website to RSVP today.