Because traditional mesothelioma treatments such as surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy have not been proven to cure mesothelioma, most affected individuals often consider alternative treatments when weighing their treatment options. And although alternative treatments for mesothelioma are not also proven to cure the cancer on their own, patients often prefer to combine them with their ongoing traditional treatments so as to alleviate pain, discomfort, and significantly minimize suffering especially in the late stages of the disease. Also, these types of treatments significantly increase the survival rates of patients.
In fact, a 2016 study conducted at the University of Columbia found that nearly 80% of mesothelioma survivors use some type of alternative treatment both during the course of their treatment as well as recovery.
The commonly used alternative treatments include the use of herbs, teas, amino acids, vitamins, massage therapy, acupuncture, and other natural, non-toxic supplements.
“When used in conjunction with conventional approaches these alternative modalities are often called “complimentary.”
Do Doctors Support Alternative Treatments for Mesothelioma?
A few decades back, many doctors refused to consider alternative treatments for mesothelioma, even though their patients clearly wanted to consider those options. They reported lack of sufficient knowledge since this method of treatment is not scientifically-proven, not because they thought they are not in any way effective. Things have however changed over the past few years as one study found that approximately 83% of the doctors surveyed were in support of continuing education on alternative health services.
Another study found that approximately 54% of medical practitioners felt that traditional medicine could largely benefit from the methods and concepts of alternative medicine/treatments. This is to say that doctors are becoming open and more willing to learn about alternative treatments to treat mesothelioma and other types of cancer.
Now that being said, let’s discuss the main alternative treatments used to treat mesothelioma.
Alternative Treatments for Mesothelioma Patients
Aromatherapy: Aromatherapy is considered as one of the best and most effective treatment therapies for patients with mesothelioma. This type of therapy usually involves the use of “essential oils” from plants and other substances, which are often used in conjunction with massages and baths. Aromatherapy is commonly used to alleviate and treat emotional disorders such as anxiety and stress from mesothelioma. It’s also used to relieve pain, improve mood, and promote good health.
“Aromatherapy is the therapeutic use of essential oils (also known as volatile oils) from plants (flowers, herbs, or trees) for the improvement of physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being.”
These oils are inhaled, placed in baths, or massaged onto the skin in diluted form.
Acupuncture: Acupuncture is a very popular alternative treatment used to alleviate pains and aches, reduce stress and anxiety, and improve mood in people with different medical conditions (acute or chronic), including mesothelioma. Often used as a palliative therapy, acupuncture usually involves the insertion of very fine needles into the skin at specific pressure points. Inserting these needles at specific points stimulates, disperses, and regulates the flow of essential energy in the body and fully restores a healthy balance of energy.
Acupuncture has especially been found to be very beneficial in the treatment of adverse reactions to radiation therapy and chemotherapy.
TENS Therapy: Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) is a type of alternative treatment therapy used to relieve body pain by use of low-voltage electric current. It’s often used alongside chiropractic care sessions and massage therapy to help reduce pain and alleviate pain in patients with cancer, including mesothelioma.
Acupressure: Acupressure is almost similar to acupuncture, although it does not involve the use of needles. It targets specific points in the body and helps to relieve mesothelioma symptoms and treatment side effects such as vomiting, nausea, fatigue, pain, and anxiety.
“In the year 2010 alone, separate controlled studies were published; each documented the value of acupressure for chemotherapy-induced nausea, menstrual cramps and pain, chronic headache pain, and insomnia when compared with placebo or other therapies.”
Chiropractic Care: Chiropractic care helps mesothelioma patients to alleviate and manage pain while undergoing traditional treatments such as radiation therapy and chemotherapy.
Massage Therapy: Massage therapy is another beneficial alternative treatment which usually involves the physical manipulation of the body’s soft tissue by use of hands. It provides deep body relaxation by easing muscle tension and alleviates pain in mesothelioma patients.
Herbal & Nutritional Supplements: Many mesothelioma patients are now turning to herbal and nutritional supplements which have been found to possess medicinal properties for treating chronic ailments such as mesothelioma and other types of cancers. In most cases, these herbal and nutritional remedies provide the body with essential minerals and vitamins which effectively fight off infections and attack and kill mesothelioma cancer cells.
Common alternative medicines include astragalus, marshmallow root, celandine, Arsenicum album, mistletoe, medical cannabis, vitamin C, including others.
Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine are often used in the treatment of such illnesses.
Yoga: Many studies have found yoga to be especially beneficial to patients suffering from mesothelioma. It’s a body-based meditation that alleviates and improves cancer symptoms, emotional health, sleep, and improves the quality of life. It also induces contentment and relaxation.
Other alternative treatments for mesothelioma include;
- Spiritual Approaches
- Health Coaching
- Biofeedback Therapy
“None of the above remedies should be seen as replacements for recommendations from your medical team. However, if you would like to extend your life and live longer, it is a good idea to explore other possible options that can help you treat mesothelioma.”
Do Alternative Treatments for Mesothelioma Really Work?
There is no one-treatment-fits-all solution when it comes to mesothelioma or other types of cancer. This is because each individual reacts differently to each treatment type. In other words, what may work for another may not work for you. All the same, most people find great relief in alternative treatments. However, it’s highly advisable to seek medical advice before using alternative treatments as some have been found to interact with prescription medicines.
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