Acupressure And Breast Cancer
Acupressure is another method practiced in traditional Chinese medicine, it involves using pressure applied to specific parts of the body where Qi can be trapped or blocked. Practicing acupressure can actually aid in the prevention of breast cancer and lessen the likelihood of recurrence.When beginning to practice acupressure, it is not imperative to be right on target, massaging the general area can be just as useful as focusing on the precise spot. For a person suffering from breast cancer, it is recommended to massage the cancer spots for at least 5-minutes each per day. For general breast cancer prevention, practicing acupressure 3-5 times per week has shown to be moderately effective.Acupressure is also highly effective at reducing the side effects associated with radiation and chemotherapy, by assisting the body in eliminating the toxins produced by these treatments. To achieve the greatest benefits possible, experts recommend practicing acupressure as often as possible.
Considerations When Choosing A Cam Therapy Approach
When choosing a CAM therapy, the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health suggests that you:
- Find out what reliable scientific studies have been done on its safety and effectiveness
- Discuss the information with your healthcare providers before making a decision
- Choose a complementary health practitioner as carefully as you would choose a conventional healthcare provider
- Find out about potential side affects or interactions with medications before using any dietary supplement or herbal product
- Not use CAM therapy to postpone seeing your doctor about your health condition
- Tell all your healthcare providers about all the health approaches you plan to use to help ensure coordinated and safe care
This article offers information on recent research and results of preclinical or clinical trials on the most common CAM treatments for breast cancer patients.
Purpose Of Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy
All systemic therapy given for non-metastatic, invasive breast cancer is intended to reduce the risk of your cancer returning. But the purpose of administering it prior to surgery is to shrink your tumor or stop the spread of cancer to make surgery less invasive and more effective.
This process, called downstaging, may make it possible for you to have less extensive surgery on the breast and/or axilla , especially for those with large tumors. By having the size of the tumor reduced, you may become a candidate for surgical resection or breast-conserving surgery rather than mastectomy.
Neoadjuvant chemotherapy has also been shown to improve cosmetic outcomes and reduce postoperative complications such as lymphedema, particularly in those who undergo breast reconstruction surgery.
Up to half of the patients undergoing neoadjuvant treatment may become suitable candidates for breast conservation rather than mastectomy.
One systematic review of neoadjuvant chemotherapy for operable breast cancer found that those who received chemotherapy before surgery had a lower mastectomy rate than those undergoing some surgical procedure before being given chemotherapy.
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Dietary Supplements During Cancer Treatment
Are there any herbs that can be used to treat cancer?Many chemotherapeutic drugs used in cancer treatment are derived from plants. They are developed after rigorous clinical trials for safety and efficacy. Only a few oral herbal supplements, like turmeric, and some medicinal mushrooms have been tested this way. However, even those that showed promising results in lab studies may not have the same effects in humans. In addition, the optimal dosages are often not determined. More studies are needed before they can be recommended for general use.
Can I use herbs or supplements safely during chemotherapy?Most herbs and dietary supplements have not been studied together with chemotherapy drugs and their interactions remain unclear. Many oncologists advise their patients to avoid these products during chemotherapy.
How do herbs interact with chemotherapy drugs?Herbs can interact with chemotherapy drugs through different mechanisms. Some herbs can interfere with the metabolism of the drugs, making them less effective. Other herbs may potentiate the adverse effects, such as bleeding, of chemotherapy drugs.
While undergoing cancer therapy, do I have to avoid spices and herbs in cooking?Culinary herbs used in small quantities for flavoring are generally safe. However, consuming large amounts for prolonged period of time may have adverse effects. For example, there are reports of post-operative hemorrhage associated with use of garlic.
Alternative Reality: Patients Who Spurn Chemo For Natural Remedies
The breast cancer was curable. The oncologist suggested chemo, radiation and surgery. The patient, 28, chose an alternative route â trips to Mexico for coffee enemas and vitamin infusions.
They didnât work. About two years after her diagnosis, the cancer was in her liver and no longer curable. But it was treatable â with chemotherapy. This time, the patient agreed.
âFor my whole team, that kind of broke our hearts because sheâs young, lovely, beautiful, and we just thought, oh shoot, now it has spread and we wish we could have avoided it,â said Dr. Julie Gralow, that patientâs oncologist at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, clinical care partner for Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.
âBut the patients are the ones who, ultimately, have the right to choose â with good education and recommendations from us,â said Gralow, who monitored the patientâs overall health amid those alternative therapies. She continues treating her.
News of another chemotherapy refusal is reviving focus on alternative cancer therapies â and on what advice doctors should give patients who spurn the conventional for the natural.
That choice seems to be gaining favor for some who have faced malignancies, say researchers and doctors.
âConversations need to include why people may be interested in using , what effects they are hoping to achieve, and the state of science on the efficacy of different therapies,â Greenlee said via email.
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Hyperthermia Therapy Supercharges Treatment
Hyperthermia is the application of heat to parts of the body to increase blood flow and enhance the efficient delivery of oxygen and nutrients. It also super-charges & enhances our low-dose chemotherapy protocol.
For decades weve witnessed the miraculous benefits of I-Therm as part of a comprehensive alternative breast cancer treatment program cancerous tumors shrink pain is alleviated neurological conditions improve and healing occurs more rapidly.
Additional Considerations Before Making A Treatment Decision
So, how do you go about evaluating treatment options youre comfortable with that will also provide you with the long-term outcome youre hoping for? Being aware of advances in conventional treatment and the importance of incorporating integrated therapies is an important first step.
Other recommendations include:
Ask questions of any provider youre seeing to be sure you understand your options and associated risks. Your care providers job is to make informed recommendations based on the best available science and your unique situation. You then have the right to accept them, refuse them or ask whether there are alternatives.
Consider getting a second opinion. Its perfectly fine to seek a second opinion before making such an important decision. In fact, a second opinion may be a good way to investigate a cancer center that provides advanced conventional treatment while also offering access to integrative care.
You need to feel comfortable with your care providers and confident in your treatment plan. If integrative care is important to you, and if youre interested in combining supportive care services with conventional cancer treatment, seek out a conventional oncologist who understands and appreciates the value of these options. Ask questions to ensure he or she is willing to work with the naturopathic and/or other members youve assembled for your healing team.
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Natural Does Not Mean Safe
CAM therapies include a wide variety of botanicals and nutritional products, such as herbal and dietary supplements, and vitamins. These products do not have to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration before being sold to the public. Also, a prescription isn’t needed to buy them. Therefore, it’s up to you to decide what’s best for you. Some tips to keep in mind are below.
- Herbal supplements may be harmful when taken by themselves, with other substances, or in large doses. For example, some studies have shown that kava kava, an herb that has been used to help with stress and anxiety, may cause liver damage. And St. John, which some people use for depression, may cause certain cancer drugs to not work as well as they should.
- Tell your doctor if you’re taking any dietary supplements, even vitamins, no matter how safe you think they are. This is very important. Even though there may be ads or claims that something has been used for years, they do not prove that it’s safe or effective. This is even more true when combined with your medicines.
- Talk with your doctor about what you should be eating. It’s common for people with cancer to have questions about different foods to eat during treatment. Yet it’s important to know there isn’t just one food or special diet that has proved to control cancer.
Natural Therapies Breast Cancer Patients Often Consider And How To Evaluate Them
What exactly do we mean when we refer to natural,alternative treatments or conventional treatment? Before we continue our discussion, it may be helpful to define some terms used by patients and medical providers when discussing types of treatments or therapies.
The National Cancer Institute provides these definitions:
- Standard treatments are based on scientific evidence from research studies.
- Alternative medicine refers to techniques that are used instead of standard medical treatments.
- Complementary medicine refers to options that are used with standard medical treatments.
- Integrative medicine is a total approach to care that combines standard medical treatment with the complementary and alternative medicine practices that have been shown to be safe and effective in attempting to address the mental, physical and spiritual aspects of patients health.
Standard treatment, which may also be known as standard of care or conventional treatment, includes treatments such as chemotherapy, surgery, radiation therapy and precision medicine.
When patients talk about natural treatment, theyre usually referring to complementary therapies or alternative treatments, such as botanicals, dietary supplements, acupuncture or cannabis, that arent part of the accepted standard of care for treating cancer.
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Cam Treatment : Special Diet
A healthy diet is an important part of cancer treatment. You should eat well whether youre using traditional methods or CAM.
However, some people with breast cancer may start on a special diet in place of taking anticancer drugs.
You should avoid foods that are:
Theyre also available through dietary supplements. However, research is mixed on whether antioxidant supplements are safe to use during cancer treatment.
Dietary supplements may:
- contain contaminated synthetic prescription drugs
- contain unknown contaminants
This can result in a number of unexpected complications. People with breast cancer should use them with caution.
If you want to try antioxidant supplements, be sure to talk with your doctor first. They can explain your individual risks and benefits.
Mind-body practices are meant to improve your minds positive impact on the rest of your body.
Examples of these practices include:
found that in women who had breast cancer, massage therapy helped reduce not only anxiety and pain, but also the need for pain medication.
Another study released around that time found that massage therapy and progressive muscle relaxation helped increase protective white blood cells in women with stage 1 and stage 2 breast cancer.
If youd like to incorporate massage therapy into your routine, make sure you work with a licensed practitioner whos trained to avoid or work around sensitive areas affected by traditional treatment.
What Is Breast Cancer
Inflammatory breast cancer is a subtype of breast cancer that is differentiated by the cancer cells causing a blockage in the lymphatic vessels. This blockage results in swelling and other infection-like symptoms such as redness and pain. This type of breast cancer is often more aggressive and spreads more readily than other types.
Also known as stage iv cancer, metastatic breast cancer is the most advanced stage of this disease and is characterized by spreading to other parts of the body, especially the bones, brain, lungs, and liver. Cancers spread when cells separate from the original tumor and travel to other parts of the body through the bloodstream or lymph nodes, starting a new tumor wherever the cell lands. Metastatic breast cancer accounts for the majority of breast cancer-related deaths.
Despite most commonly associated with women, breast cancer can also occur in men with roughly 2,670 diagnoses each year in the united states. African-Americans have the highest occurrence rate, followed closely by caucasian men. Treatment for breast cancer in men is approached very similarly to cases in women and requires testing for tumor characteristics to guide treatment decisions. Hormone receptor-positive tumors are more common in men. Men with breast cancer also typically have a better prognosis than women.
Other findings suggest that more than 60% of cancer cases could be prevented with proper nutrition and supplementation.
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After Each Chemo Treatment
If necessary, your blood will be drawn after chemo. If your red counts or neutrophils are low, you may be offered shots to boost those counts. Chemotherapy can greatly affect your blood counts because blood cells divide and multiply quickly and are therefore targeted by the drugs.Staying on top of your blood counts is essential for recovering from chemo with a healthy immune system and avoiding anemia and neutropenia.
Breast Cancer Doctor Discussion Guide
Get our printable guide for your next doctors appointment to help you ask the right questions.
Your specific chemotherapy drug or regimen may cause other side effects, as well. These effects will subside after youve finished treatment.
Before each treatment, your medical oncologist may want you to take medications to protect against side effects. Be sure to take these on time and as prescribed.
Between chemotherapy appointments, if you have trouble dealing with side effects, dont hesitate to call your clinic and ask for help. If youre dehydrated after a treatment, you can ask for an infusion of saline fluid. Other medications may be given along with the saline to help with nausea and vomiting.
How Is Breast Cancer Treated
Breast cancer is treated in several ways. It depends on the kind of breast cancer and how far it has spread.
Breast cancer is treated in several ways. It depends on the kind of breast cancer and how far it has spread. People with breast cancer often get more than one kind of treatment.
- Surgery. An operation where doctors cut out cancer tissue.
- Chemotherapy. Using special medicines to shrink or kill the cancer cells. The drugs can be pills you take or medicines given in your veins, or sometimes both.
- Hormonal therapy. Blocks cancer cells from getting the hormones they need to grow.
- Biological therapy. Works with your bodys immune system to help it fight cancer cells or to control side effects from other cancer treatments.
- Radiation therapy. Using high-energy rays to kill the cancer cells.
Doctors from different specialties often work together to treat breast cancer. Surgeons are doctors who perform operations. Medical oncologists are doctors who treat cancer with medicine. Radiation oncologists are doctors who treat cancer with radiation.
For more information, visit the National Cancer Institutes Breast Cancer Treatment Option Overview.external icon This site can also help you find health care services.external icon
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Alternative To Chemotherapy And Radiation Cancer Treatments
So, what can you do instead of conventional cancer treatment? Today, there are a host of substitute therapies and alternative medicine options to chemo and radiation therapy that fall under the umbrella of alternative cancer treatments. But, as a note, these cancer care alternatives should not be confused with stress-relieving therapies such as acupuncture, massage, tai chi, yoga, meditation, etc.
Whether youre exploring prostate cancer natural treatment options, a lymphoma natural treatment or are in search of alternative treatment for ovarian cancer, finding the right alternative treatments involves a customized and targeted therapy plan that relies upon utilizing the patients immune system to help stave off cancer. Whereas chemo completely wrecks the immune system for a cancer patient, alternative treatments are intended to:
- Train the immune system to specifically attack cancer cells.
- Stimulate the immune system to work better, faster, smarter, stronger in attacking cancer cells.
- Provide the patient with immune system components or man-made immune supplements to bolster your defense network.
As with traditional cancer treatments, alternative therapies may work better for certain strains or cases of cancer than others.
Alternative & Holistic Cancer Treatment Center Option #: An Oasis Of Healing
An Oasis of Healing was established in 2006 as the first truly integrative cancer healing center in the USA.
Dr Thomas Lodi, our founder, continues to research and incorporate at our center the most effective leading-edge cancer treatments. In our comprehensive cancer care program, we utilize Insulin Potentiation Therapy , vitamin and mineral IV treatments, nutrition through living foods and organic fresh-pressed vegetable juices, detoxification enhancements, in conjunction with the most effective conventional medicines, all of which, together effectively destroy cancer cells and help balance and strengthen the immune system.
With the Oasis School of Life, our patients learn how they have the power to heal and Stop Making Cancer through our lifestyle modifications and nutritional education. Each persons program is monitored and customized throughout the healing process to assist the whole person to bring about physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being.
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What Are The Benefits Of Complementary Therapies For People With Breast Cancer
Complementary therapies are thought to have a range of benefits for people with breast cancer. They can give you comfort and help you feel more relaxed when coming to terms with the physical and emotional effects of breast cancer and its treatment. Some people believe they help with the side effects of breast cancer and treatment. For others, its just about taking time to do something for themselves and feeling more in control.
With the right therapy and therapist you may find, as many people do, that complementary therapies can offer much needed extra support before, during and after your treatment for breast cancer.