Complementary Therapies for Cancer
Complementary therapies for cancer are actions you can take that complement the medical treatment, such as chemotherapy, that you are receiving for a cancer diagnosis. Complementary therapies can assist in helping you beat cancer by keeping you healthy physically and mentally.
Common complementary therapies
Some common complementary therapies include diet, exercise, and mindfulness.
Diet Following a healthy diet with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and limited treats can improve your health and make your body stronger. Some foods and spices may help your body fight the cancer, and being healthy in general and fueling your body appropriately will make it easier to handle the treatment and side effects.
Exercise Adults should exercise for 150 minutes per week, or about 30 minutes per day. Choose an exercise you enjoy, so you’ll be able to do it regularly. You may decide to join a walking group of your neighbors, or attend an exercise class at the gym. Tai Chi and restorative yoga are often enjoyed by cancer patients. Lift weights a couple of times a week to keep your bones strong. If you don’t have access to dumbbells, improvise! Cans of soup, for example, are often about a pound each.
Bon Secours has a Cancer Rehabilitation Program for current cancer patients and survivors.
Mindfulness Having cancer is stressful, for you, your partner, and your family. Mindfulness and meditation can help you reduce your stress and better cope with a tough situation, and may help manage some treatment side effects such as nausea and fatigue.
Talk with your physician before you start a specific diet or exercise program.
Other complementary therapies
Other complementary therapies may include aromatherapy, massage, and acupuncture. Talk with your oncologist before you start complementary therapies to find their suggestions and warnings for your particular course of treatment.