- How are pituitary tumors treated?
- Surgery for pituitary tumors
- Radiation therapy for pituitary tumors
- Medicines to treat pituitary tumors
- Clinical trials for pituitary tumors
- Complementary and alternative therapies for pituitary tumors
- Treatment of functional (hormone-making) pituitary tumors
- Treatment of non-functional pituitary tumors (tumors that don’t make excess hormones)
- Treatment of pituitary carcinomas
- More treatment information for pituitary tumors
Complementary and alternative therapies for pituitary tumors
When you have a pituitary tumor you are likely to hear about ways to treat your tumor or relieve symptoms that your doctor hasn’t mentioned. Everyone from friends and family to social media groups and websites might offer ideas for what might help you. These methods can include vitamins, herbs, and special diets, or other methods such as acupuncture or massage, to name a few.
What exactly are complementary and alternative therapies?
Not everyone uses these terms the same way, and they are used to refer to many different methods, so it can be confusing. We use complementary to refer to treatments that are used along with your regular medical care. Alternative treatments are used instead of a doctor’s medical treatment.
Complementary methods: Most complementary treatment methods are not offered as cures. Mainly, they are used to help you feel better. Some methods that are used along with regular treatment are meditation to reduce stress, acupuncture to help relieve pain, or peppermint tea to relieve nausea. Some complementary methods are known to help, while others have not been tested. Some have been proven not to be helpful, and a few have even been found harmful.
Alternative treatments: Alternative treatments may be offered as cures. These treatments have not been proven safe and effective in clinical trials. Some of these methods may pose danger, or have life-threatening side effects. But the biggest danger in most cases is that you may lose the chance to be helped by standard medical treatment. Delays or interruptions in your medical treatments may give the tumor more time to grow and make it less likely that treatment will help.
Finding out more
It is easy to see why people with tumors think about alternative methods. You want to do all you can to fight the tumor, and the idea of a treatment with few or no side effects sounds great. Sometimes medical treatments can be hard to take, or they may no longer be working. But the truth is that most of these alternative methods have not been tested and proven to work in treating pituitary tumors.
As you consider your options, here are 3 important steps you can take:
- Look for “red flags” that suggest fraud. Does the method promise to cure all or most tumors? Are you told not to have regular medical treatments? Is the treatment a “secret” that requires you to visit certain providers or travel to another country?
- Talk to your doctor or nurse about any method you are thinking about using.
- Contact us at 1-800-227-2345 or see the “Complementary and Alternative Medicine” section of our website to learn more about complementary and alternative methods in general and to find out about the specific methods you are looking at.
The choice is yours
Decisions about how to treat or manage your tumor are always yours to make. If you want to use a non-standard treatment, learn all you can about the method and talk to your doctor about it. With good information and the support of your health care team, you may be able to safely use the methods that can help you while avoiding those that could be harmful.
Last Medical Review: 05/08/2014
Last Revised: 05/08/2014