When newly diagnosed mesothelioma patients begin researching their treatment options, they are typically met with a standard regimen: surgery, chemotherapy therapy and radiation therapy. While this traditional trio is praised for offering patients the best shot at a longer survival rate, many fail to mention the side effects that often arise during or after the therapies.
Holistic mesothelioma treatments are less common, but these alternative methods offer a number of advantages.
Unlike Western treatments, which focus mostly on eliminating tumors, holistic therapies focus more on restoring overall health to the body. These treatments are often palliative, intended primarily to reduce symptoms while improving the quality of life. Since they do not aggressively attack a patient’s cancerous cells, they pose essentially no risk of damaging healthy cells in the process, and they can be performed without causing additional complications.
Not only are the holistic therapies associated with fewer side effects, but they are also more readily available than the leading mesothelioma treatments. Patients may be able to access these alternative therapies through their insurance plans, or some of them (such as visualization and meditation) may be practiced for free.
Natural Mesothelioma Therapies
Patients have a wide variety of natural treatments that can help alleviate the side effects of their cancer. Pain can be successfully remedied with acupuncture and chiropractic care, while anxiety can be effectively reduced through yoga, meditation and massage.
Other common alternative therapies for mesothelioma include:
· Dietary changes
· TENS therapy (electrode stimulation of pressure points)
Natural supplements are one of the most common ways to holistically treat mesothelioma and its symptoms. Not only can standard vitamins help improve the immune system’s ability to fight off the abnormal growth, but certain substances may also stimulate the body’s cancer-fighting abilities. Cat’s claw, astragalus and tart black cherries are all natural substances that mesothelioma cancer survivors have used with varying degrees of success.
Lifestyle changes can also greatly benefit mesothelioma patients. Some survivors have turned to whole-foods based or even vegetarian diets. Many others have begun incorporating mind-body techniques into their daily life, while others have worked with a holistic practitioner to develop a regimen of bodily manipulation therapies.
Some mesothelioma patients do choose to pursue traditional medicine while supplementing it with holistic methods. This integrative approach (in which the holistic treatments are known as complementary therapies) can help improve a patient’s response to treatment and reduce their dependence on pharmaceutical aids.
Author bio: Faith Franz is a writer for the Mesothelioma Center. She combines her interests in whole-body health and medical research to educate the mesothelioma community about the newest developments in cancer care.