Sunday, March 15, 2009

An Overview of Alternative Medicine Treatments for Cancer

Alternative medicine is a set of medical practices that are use to cure or alleviate the symptoms of a disease or ailment. Cancer alternative medicine is used in place of conventional practices that aim to treat the disease. If you are considering any kind of cancer alternative medicine treatment you need to be aware of the advantages and disadvantages before you can reach a decision.

What exactly is cancer alternative medicine? It involves the use of acupuncture, medicinal herbs, dietary changes and chiropractic techniques to reduce the side effects of the disease and hopefully diminish the number of malignant cells. Treatment options obviously vary depending on what kind of cancer the patient has. For instance, breast cancer alternative medicine will not be the same as that which is used to treat Leukemia.

Advocates of cancer alternative medicine argue that unconventional approaches such as acupuncture, herbal remedies and detoxification diets are much less invasive than conventional practices which aim to kill or eradicate the malignant cells. Cancer alternative medicine relies on natural treatments rather than synthetic drugs and treatments such as chemotherapy that often have very harsh side effects that leave the patient feeling extremely weak and ill.

Critics of cancer alternative medicine have two main objections. First of all some of the treatment options can and have caused fatal side effects because they were used incorrectly and without the guidance of a professional. Furthermore, while trying cancer alternative medicine a patient may miss the opportunity to recover from a conventional treatment. Conventional treatments work best when used soon after the disease is detected rather than when the cancer is at an advanced stage. These arguments clearly have some validity but that does not mean that cancer alternative medicine does not work. It simply means more research and stricter guidelines are called for.

If you are considering cancer alternative medicine try to maintain a level-headed attitude. Before trying anything new you must speak to your health care provider to make sure that it is safe for you and will not hinder any standard treatment. You may also wish to try complimentary medicine, which combines alternative practices such as the use of medicinal herbs and acupuncture with conventional treatments such as prescription medications, chemotherapy and palliative care. Any person who is diagnosed with cancer definitely has some tough decisions to make when it comes to deciding on the best course of treatment. Do your research and talk to experienced medical professionals to decide which treatment options you think would work best for you.

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