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.

The American Cancer Society medical and editorial content team
Our team is made up of doctors and master’s-prepared nurses with deep knowledge of cancer care as well as journalists, editors, and translators with extensive experience in medical writing.

Last Medical Review: March 31, 2015 Last Revised: March 31, 2015

American Cancer Society medical information is copyrighted material. For reprint requests, please see our Content Usage Policy.