Considering a Complementary or Alternative Cancer Treatment for Ovarian Cancer?
The terms alternative cancer treatment and complementary cancer treatment are often used interchangeably, but the fact is that they are two quite distinct forms of treatment. Alternative treatment refers to those therapies that are alternatives to the mainstream treatments such as chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery. Complementary treatment refers to therapies or treatments that are taken alongside conventional treatments (e.g. surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy). Complementary treatments may be used to help you feel better physically and emotionally and to better cope with your cancer and treatment.
While scientific evidence exists regarding some complementary and alternative therapies, for most there are key questions that are yet to be answered through well-designed scientific studies. Questions such as whether these therapies are safe and whether they work for the purposes for which they are used.
Some examples of alternative therapies include:
- High dose vitamins and dietary supplements
- Gerson Therapy
- Shark Cartilage
- Oxygen Therapies
There are also a number of clinics around the world which offer alternative cancer treatments. See the cancer cure foundation website for a comprehensive list of treatment centers around the world.
There are countless cases out there from people who have used an alternative cancer treatment and have had their cancer cured. Doctors are usually quick to reject these forms of treatment due to the lack of rigorous scientific studies conducted on these treatments, including clinical trials. However this does not mean they don’t work, only that they haven’t been studied sufficiently in a research lab. A lot more research into these forms of treatment is needed before they can be officially noted as valid treatments. But at the moment, it is up to the patient to decide whether they want to undergo a treatment of this kind.
It is always important to make sure any information you read on the internet is accurate, and be mindful of what you read. Also make sure you look into all the available information and talk your plans over with your doctor. It is also a good idea to check the treatment costs, as some can be quiet expensive.
For a really good resource, look at Ralph W. Moss’s (PhD) site Cancer Decisions. Dr Moss is a consultant on cancer treatment and provides detailed yet readable explanations of many types of cancer, including ovarian. “Ralph W, Moss, Ph.D. has made his life’s work independently investigating alternative cancer treatment and the claims made for them. He is known for solid, comprehensive, and meticulously documented reporting on the subject”.
Complementary Therapies and Ovarian Cancer
The concept of combining the discipline of modern science with the wisdom of ancient healing is becoming increasingly widespread. This has been termed integrative medicine. It generally includes the use of conventional therapies together with complementary therapies. For people living with chronic or life-threatening illness, it can transform the physical, emotional, and spiritual dimensions of their lives.
In treating disease, complementary therapies are not substitutes for mainstream medical care; they are used in concert with medical treatment to help alleviate stress, reduce pain and anxiety, manage symptoms, and promote a feeling of well-being.
Examples of complementary therapies include:
Cancer Treatment Centers of America promotes the use of complementary therapies in combination with the conventional therapies. They provide a comprehensive, patient-centered treatment model that fully integrates conventional, state-of-the-art medical treatments with scientifically-supported complementary therapies such as nutrition, naturopathic medicine, psychological counseling, physical therapy and spiritual support to meet the special, whole-person needs of cancer patients with complex and advanced-stage disease.
An international development into research of complementary medicines was set up in 2003. The Society of Integrative Oncolgy is a non profit organisation of health professionals involved in studying and researching use of complementary therapies alongside conventional cancer treatments.
If you would like to research more about complementary therapies, here are some more useful websites: