Alternative Therapy in Cancer Treatment: Top Approaches

Alternative cancer treatment uses non-traditional medical treatment methods, such as acupuncture or herbal medicine. It’s not a new phenomenon; in fact, many people believe that alternative therapies are safer than traditional treatments because they’re natural and holistic.

There are many reasons why people may choose to pursue alternative cancer treatments. Some of the most common reasons include: 

Alternative cancer treatments can be broadly categorized into integrative and complementary approaches. Integrative therapies combine both conventional and alternative approaches to treat cancer. In contrast, complementary therapies provide additional types of care that may enhance the quality of life for patients with cancer yet do not directly affect their condition.

Alternative Therapies in Cancer Treatment


Acupuncture stimulates specific points on the body, usually by penetrating needles. Many studies show acupuncture can be used as an effective form of cancer treatment and help treat side effects associated with chemotherapy like nausea or vomiting. Acupuncture does not cure cancer, but it can reduce pain, stress, anxiety & depression in patients who endure this type of therapy for more extended periods. 

Herbal medicine

Herbal medicine is the use of plants or plant extracts to treat diseases. Many scientists believe that certain types of cancer can be treated with herbal remedies. Herbs may also help slow down tumor growth and boost immune function in patients diagnosed with cancer. This doesn’t mean you should stop your traditional treatments, but it could work as an effective complementary treatment for some cancers. 

Cannabis oil

The experts from Euromed Foundation, Cancer Treatment Center say that cannabis oil has become increasingly popular within alternative circles because many people claim this natural remedy helps fight against cancer cells by boosting the body’s own ability to fight disease. There is very little research on using cannabis oil alone without chemotherapy, so no one knows how well it works yet. Still, researchers agree that more testing needs to be done before doctors prescribe it as a treatment. 


Reiki healing aims to help restore the physical and emotional well-being of those who receive this kind of care. Reiki is an alternative therapy that uses touch to transfer life energy, or chi, from the practitioner into a patient. Reiki has been used successfully by cancer patients in assisting them to cope with stress & anxiety while undergoing chemotherapy. Still, more research needs to be done before doctors recommend it as a stand-alone treatment for cancer. 


Turmeric is not exactly new on the scene – people have used turmeric mixed with other spices since ancient times. Nowadays, we know that curcumin, which gives turmeric its distinct golden color, may inhibit tumor growth and promote apoptosis. Although there is no evidence to support the idea that turmeric can cure cancer, some studies suggest taking it as a complementary treatment may help slow down tumor growth and prevent metastasis.


Ayurveda is a 5000-year-old system of medicine that originated in India. Ayurveda uses diet, herbs, meditation, and yoga to restore balance within the body. There is some evidence that ayurvedic remedies can help reduce chemotherapy and radiation therapy side effects. 


According to Dr. Frank Shallenberger, an expert in alternative cancer treatment, naturopathy is a holistic medicine that relies on natural methods like herbs and dietary changes to treat disease. Naturopaths believe restoring the body’s ability to heal itself is the best way to fight cancer. 


Homeopathy uses highly diluted substances meant to trigger a reaction in your immune system, which is then used as an antidote for whatever is making you sick. Although there isn’t much scientific evidence on how well homeopathic remedies work, some studies suggest they may be able to help with cancer symptoms like fatigue or insomnia. 

Chiropractic care

Chiropractic medicine focuses on using spinal manipulations and massage therapy instead of surgery and medication. Some people believe chiropractors can reduce stress and anxiety levels, while others say they can improve mobility problems caused by tumors. Chiropractors do not prescribe drugs (except sometimes over-the-counter analgesics) and are not harmful, so that they may be a safe option for some cancer patients.

Mind-body therapies

Mind-body therapies like meditation, yoga and tai chi use breathing exercises and movements to focus the mind and body. These therapies can help reduce stress & anxiety levels as well as improve sleep quality. They may also boost the immune system and improve the overall quality of life. Yoga has been found to be helpful for breast cancer survivors in particular. 

Bottom Line

It’s essential to keep in mind that while alternative therapies may offer some benefits, they should never replace standard treatments prescribed by a doctor. If you’re interested in trying an alternative therapy, always talk to your oncologist first to make sure it won’t interfere with your current treatment plan. 


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