- What are complementary and alternative methods?
- How are complementary methods used to manage cancer?
- What kinds of cancer treatment are there?
- Why are complementary and alternative therapies harder to evaluate?
- What are the risks of not using mainstream cancer treatment?
- Can I safely use an alternative or complementary therapy?
- Will my insurance cover alternative and complementary therapies?
- How do I talk to my doctor about alternative and complementary methods?
- Using a complementary or alternative method is your decision
- To learn more
How are complementary methods used to manage cancer?
Some people believe that our current medical treatment in the US, which we refer to as mainstream medicine, is the only option they have when it comes to treating symptoms and side effects, relieving pain, and improving quality of life. But there are many complementary treatments you can use safely, right along with your medical treatment. Some people find that certain complementary methods are very useful to help control certain symptoms and improve the quality of their lives. They don’t expect these methods to treat or cure the cancer.
Some cancer treatment centers offer some of these complementary therapies. (See “Integrative therapy” in the section called “What kinds of cancer treatment are there?”) That means you get can get safe complementary treatments at your cancer treatment center without having to go out and find them yourself.
How can you know if the method you’re thinking about is safe and whether it will help you? The information here can help you understand more about safety and think about whether and how you might want to use complementary or alternative methods.
Last Medical Review: 03/31/2015
Last Revised: 03/31/2015