Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is becoming the resort of mesothelioma patients because they often provide little or no side effects. The reason why victims of mesothelioma will turn to complementary and alternative medicine is – the mainstream medicine lacks the capability of providing a holistic cure for the ailment.
Traditional treatment options have a lot of side effects
Sometimes it is hard to tell which kills the victim faster, the cancer or the side effects from treatment. The use of mainstream treatment options such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy is marred by the wide array of side effects they present. Some of the common side effects include alopecia, fatigue, localized or disseminated pain and digestion problems as well as skin burns.
Complementary and alternative medication has subdivisions
CAM can be grouped into exercise, energy therapy and spiritual therapy. Mind-body technique and nutritional therapy also belong to this category. They are either used alone or in combination and each of them has a different philosophy and guiding principle.
Alternative medical system encompasses many practices
The main medications that are classified under alternative medication include traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), acupuncture, naturopathy, Ayurveda and homeopathy. There are Ayurveda forms that include supplements such as ashwagandha, curcumin and tulsi. Curcumin and Asian spice which are also a bioactive ingredient available in turmeric.
Acupuncture has a strong foot in the United States
Acupuncture has been proven to be effective in relieving pain of many forms and at one point was considered a novel upsurge of inquisitiveness in the United States. The wide acceptance can be viewed through the eyes of the increasing number of insurance companies that are providing coverage for the treatment.
Acupuncture can limit the side effects from mainstream mesothelioma treatment
Chemotherapy and radiation therapy are the two main treatment options that provide the most side effects. After several evaluations through clinical trials, the World Health Organization (WHO) came to a conclusion that acupuncture is effective for the treatment of adverse reactions arising from the use of chemotherapy and radiation therapy. It was also shown to provide relief from headache, depression, vomiting and nausea.
There is ongoing research on CAM
The ray of hope provided by Complementary and Alternative Medicine has sparked further research into how they can be effectively and safely incorporated into mesothelioma treatment. The need for further research into CAM is a matter of urgency because of the narrow treatment options currently available to victims of mesothelioma. The result may not be far off as there are ongoing researches on CAM spearheaded by cancer research centers and universities.
Different CAM therapies focus on a particular sphere of healing
As discussed above, the different CAMs that have been employed for treatment so far have a guiding principle and aim at achieving a particular purpose. More purpose can be achieved when they are used in combination.
- Manipulative and body-based methods: employ movements of certain parts of the body to treat various conditions. Common forms are chiropractic and therapeutic massage.
- Energy therapy: tries to balance the internal and external energies.
- Exercise therapy: harnesses body movements, breathing and stretching to improve emotional and mental awareness.
- Mind-body interventions: employ meditation, relaxation therapies, hypnosis, art and music to help patients cope with the side effects.
- Spiritual therapy: the common form is prayer to improve the mental state of the patient.
- Nutritional therapy: encourages eating the right meal to improve the innate defense mechanism of the body.
Involve your oncologist if you take to CAM
Your oncologist will be in the best position to tell you which therapies to use in combination and which to avoid depending on your health state and the progression of the cancer. In fact, consulting a specialist is very important before going through every stage of CAM.
- Acupuncture is widely accepted in the US.
- Many insurance companies cover CAM treatment now.
- CAM has a number of subdivisions.
- Each form of CAM aims to achieve a particular purpose.
- CAM has been effective in eliminating some of the side effects from chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
- Victims of mesothelioma currently have narrow treatment options.
- Mainstream treatment of mesothelioma is not holistic.
- Chemotherapy and radiation produce the most side effects.
- Prayer is the most common form of spiritual therapy.
- Always involve your oncologist when using CAM.
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