Alternative Lung Cancer Treatment
Some lung cancer patients find that alternative or complementary treatments such as massage, acupuncture, herbal medicines and dietary supplements help them to manage their lung cancer symptoms and boost their feeling of overall well-being during cancer treatment. Any lung cancer sufferer who is considering undergoing a course of alternative therapy must consult his or her doctor or oncologist before beginning the alternative treatment. In addition to their potential benefits, alternative treatments may pose risks to the health of the patient if they are incorrectly administered. This is why an expert medical opinion is required before treatment begins. Most practitioners of alternative therapy will treat a patient at the same time he is undergoing conventional treatment (chemotherapy, radiotherapy or surgery) for his cancer. Beware of any practitioner who advises a patient to forego his medical treatment in favor of alternative therapies. This must not be done under any circumstances. Alternative treatment can help relieve cancer symptoms, but it has never been definitively proven that it can cure cancer.
Aims Of Alternative Treatment
Any professional and trustworthy practitioner of alternative therapies will tell you that the purpose the treatment he or she offers is to ease the distressing symptoms of lung cancer (breathlessness, pain, coughing) as well as the unpleasant side effects of conventional treatment. The aim is to maintain the patient's strength and improve his quality of life.
Where To Find Treatment
Talk to your doctor about where to find alternative treatments for your lung cancer. He or she should be able to point you in the right direction. Always ask to see proof of your practitioner's qualifications before you begin treatment.
An appropriate diet plays a major role in supporting the body as it fights cancer. The idea behind any new eating regime is to make the patient physically strong enough to face treatment as well as combat the side effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy, such as loss of appetite and, potentially, malnutrition. A healthy diet may require changes to the types of food a patient consumes as well as supplements of vitamins and minerals.
Food - foods to avoid include anything the patient might be allergic to, for example diary products, soy, gluten or preservatives or chemicals in food. (Always consult your doctor before removing any food group from your diet). It's also a good idea to cut out or reduce consumption of refined or processed foods, red meat, trans-fatty acids (found in baked goods) as well as alcohol, caffeine and, of course, tobacco. Foodstuffs to actively increase in the diet are antioxidants (lots of fresh fruit and vegetables), foods which are high in vitamin B and iron, lean meat, fish and beans for protein and healthy cooking oils.
Supplements - daily multivitamins, omega 3 (from fish oil), vitamin C, probiotic supplements, alpha-lipoic acid, resveratrol, L-theamine and melatonin are all recommended diet supplements for cancer patients. Patients should consult their doctors thoroughly regarding sources of these supplements and appropriate dosage.
Light exercise, every day if possible, is also recommended.
Herbal remedies recommended for lung cancer include green tea, reishi mushroom, olive leaf and milk thistle.
Physical treatments such as acupuncture and acupressure (where pressure is applied to certain parts of the body as opposed to inserting fine needles as in acupuncture) are said to relieve pain, nausea, vomiting, breathlessness and coughing in lung cancer patients.
Lung cancer patients are encouraged to take advantage of one-to-one counseling and support groups for emotional support. Strength of mind boosts the strength of the body. Many patients also find it helpful to explore faith and spirituality as a means of mentally preparing for and surviving cancer treatment.