Exploring Alternative Medicine: A Guide
Alternative medicine is any method used instead of standard medical treatments to stop, diagnose, or treat cancer that hasn’t been tested or shown not to work. They were either improperly evaluated in clinical trials or were studied and proved ineffective against cancer.
Some examples of alternative methods are special diets, certain herbs, and supplements, high doses of vitamins, homeopathy, laetrile, and Rife machines. Many people who offer alternative medicine suggest a mix of these treatments. Standard therapies are based on research studies demonstrating that they are safe and effective against one or more forms of cancer.
There are also established therapies for several cancer and cancer treatment-related adverse effects. Surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, targeted therapy, hormone therapy, and supportive drugs are typical therapies.
Alternative medicine is not the same as therapies that work with medicine. Complementary techniques are utilized along with and support standard treatments. Instead of standard treatments, different ones are used. Mainstream doctors may use words like “unconventional,” “non-conventional,” and “non-traditional” to describe treatments that are not used in mainstream medicine.
These terms can be used to talk about any therapy that isn’t the only one. Some treatments, like traditional Chinese medicine or Native American healing, are additionally utilized in alternative therapies. People from the culture that uses these treatments usually call their native methods traditional, while Western medicine is considered non-traditional.
Why do people who have cancer try other things?
People with cancer might think about using alternative treatments for several reasons:
● They want to do as much as they can to fight cancer.
● They seek a way to treat it that might cause less harm.
● They want to be able to decide how to treat their cancer.
● They prefer different ideas about health and illness and different ways to treat them.
● They may have seen helpful information online or somewhere else.
These alternative approaches may be interesting since they use your own body, intellect, and natural elements. Some even say they can cure cancer with simple, natural, and side-effect-free methods, which is rarely true of standard cancer treatments.
Some alternative methods aren’t likely to hurt you, but others can be dangerous or even kill you. Even if there aren’t many bad things about a certain alternative treatment, research has shown that people with the most common curable cancers are more likely to die using alternative treatments instead of traditional ones.
By definition, alternative ways of treating cancer have either not been studied enough to show that they work or they have been studied and shown not to work. When research shows that a method is a good way to fight cancer, it tends to be used quickly in standard medicine.
Choosing to use alternative medicine is up to you.
Choosing other methods is big, and it’s up to you to create them. We’ve put together some ideas to help you think through the issues and make the best, safest choice. There is usually much less good, unbiased information about alternative treatments than mainstream treatments.
This is one reason why it can be hard to say a lot about how likely an alternative method is to help or even how safe it might be. This is why you should try to find out as much as possible about each treatment before using it. Even if you don’t have all the facts, you can still make a decision based on what you do know.
You can choose to use other methods. You’ll be safer using them if you:
● Try to get information from sources that you can trust and that don’t have a bias. Some research has shown that one in three articles on social media about cancer treatments is wrong or even harmful.
● Find out from scientific sources about the risks and benefits of each therapy.
● Discuss your plans with your doctor. Ask what is known about the risks and benefits, and find out if it might interact with more commonly used treatments.
● Know for sure if you are giving up a treatment that has been shown to work for one that has not. (If you decide to do this, talk to your doctor about other options if the alternative treatment doesn’t work.)
● Look out for signs of fraud or claims that aren’t true. You should know that many people who offer alternative treatments have a financial reason to make them sound good.
● Remember that almost all alternative methods have not been tested to see if they are safe for pregnant or breastfeeding females, so it is hard to say what effects they might have on a fetus or child a pregnant woman is feeding.
● Before giving your child an alternative treatment, talk to your child’s doctor.
If it seems like there are always new therapies and studies, that’s because there are. It’s a growing field, and these treatments need more study. Still, incorporating a few of these into your daily life could benefit your health.
Some of these things have existed for thousands of years for a reason. You should do what works if you’ve talked to a doctor or other professional you can trust. You might need both Western medicine and other therapies to get better.
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