Do alternative cancer treatments work?

In the first few weeks of your diagnosis you may have been weighing up your treatment options while listening to stories of those who bypassed the surgeon’s knife/chemotherapy/radiotherapy, and went straight to “cure” by means of alternative therapies.

I believe we all need to have an open mind about alternative treatments, but I also believe we need to focus on what is working and saving lives when it comes to cancer. While some of those who promote alternative cancer treatments are selling dubious at best, dangerous at worst, products and services to vulnerable people in search of a miracle cure; many others mean well in advocating for alternative health treatments.

But the truth is there is no magic cure.

Crude as it can seem at times, surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, and hormonal treatments are saving lives. These treatments aren’t pleasant, and many of us would much rather opt for an alternative option if we knew it could save us. Unfortunately, there is not as much evidence to support the use of any alternative cancer therapy.

I took full advantage of complementary therapies, like reiki, reflexology and acupuncture during my chemotherapy (while making sure that it didn’t interfere with the conventional medicine my oncologist was using) and I continue to do so as part of my wellness plan. There is nothing wrong with seeking alternative and complementary methods, but doing so without seeking the advice of a trained medical practitioner is not advisable. You deserve the thousands of hours of research and countless hours of training behind your treatment that can only come from the conventional medical community.

What has been your experience with complementary therapies during treatment and do you still continue to use them?