- 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
What are the risks of not using mainstream cancer treatment?
Mainstream cancer treatments such as radiation, chemotherapy, and surgery can be unpleasant. But they have been scientifically tested and proven to work for treating cancer. Even though the side effects of mainstream cancer treatment can be serious, these treatments help you fight a life-threatening disease.
People with cancer who choose alternative medicine instead of mainstream cancer treatments may be putting themselves at serious risk. They are giving up the only proven methods of treating their disease. Delays or interruptions in standard treatment can give the cancer more time to grow. Even early stage cancers can become impossible to treat successfully if effective treatment is delayed long enough. And even when cancer reaches a stage where cure is not possible, it’s important to remember that mainstream care can still offer a lot in the way of cancer control and comfort.
Last Medical Review: 03/31/2015
Last Revised: 03/31/2015