Complementary and Alternative Medicine

The terms "complementary" and "alternative" are sometimes used to refer to non-traditional methods of diagnosing, preventing, or treating cancer or its symptoms. Here you'll find general information to help you better understand what these terms mean and how to decide if using them is right for you. You'll also find a wealth of information on specific complementary and alternative treatments, grouped into the five categories below.

Complementary and Alternative Methods and Cancer

You may hear  about alternative or complementary methods to prevent, diagnose, or treat cancer or its symptoms. Learn about what these terms mean and find information to help you think through the issues to make the most informed and safest decision possible. 

Dietary Supplements: What Is Safe?

Dietary supplements include things like vitamins, minerals, herbs, or products made from plants, animal parts, algae, seafood, or yeasts. The information here can help you learn more about dietary supplements so you can make a more informed decision about using them safely.

Learning About New Cancer Treatments

You may have just heard about a new or alternative form of cancer treatment. Before you put your time, your body, and your money on the line, learn more about what you are looking at so you can decide if it's worth it.

Learning About New Cancer Prevention Methods

In your quest to be healthy, you may hear about something that you are told can reduce your risk of cancer -- a new way you haven't heard about before. It sounds like a good idea, and you may want to try it. Before you put your body and money on the line, find out more about it.

Placebo Effect

Even though placebos are not active medicines, they seem to help some patients. The effects of placebos may occur because the patient believes in the substance, the treatment, or the doctor. Even if a person feels better after taking a placebo, it doesn't mean the person's illness or symptoms were not real.

Mind, Body, and Spirit

Learn about techniques that focus on the connections between the mind, body, and spirit, such as biofeedback, meditation, yoga, and prayer.

Manual Healing and Physical Touch

Get the facts about methods that involve touching, manipulation, or movement of the body, such as acupuncture, reflexology, massage, and other related therapies.

Herbs, Vitamins, and Minerals

This section focuses on compounds derived from plants that are used for prevention or treatment, as well as everyday vitamins and minerals. Examples include mistletoe, black cohosh, vitamin D, selenium, and many others.

Diet and Nutrition

Get information on dietary practices such as fasting, juicing, and vegetarianism, as well as the latest findings on foods such as soy products and broccoli.