Alternative Treatments for Breast Cancer
Breast cancer is one of the most frightening disease diagnoses for women. There are many treatments, however, that can be used to help, including some outside of traditional medicine.
Alternative and Traditional
A study in 2001 showed that 84 percent of breast cancer patients use alternative (non-traditional) therapies to either augment or replace typical treatments such as chemotherapy. Many of these methods have not been proven scientifically, and there is also some potential for interactions between cancer drugs and alternative treatments. This is further complicated by the large portion of these women who do not tell their doctors about the alternative treatments. Before embarking on an alternative method of cancer treatment, you should consult your doctor first to avoid any complications from the combination of the two kinds of treatment (See reference 3).
Herbs and Vitamins
A treatment famously used by actress Susan Sommers is the injection of mistletoe (Iscator). There are unproven claims that this herb can stimulate the immune system and fight cancer and other diseases. Multiple vitamins and minerals are often cited by alternative doctors as having an effect on cancer: vitamin B complex (100 miligrams each), vitamin E (work way up from 400 international units to 1,000 international units), vitamin C (5,000 milligrams to 20,000 milligrams), coenzyme Q10 (100 milligrams), essential fatty acids, calcium (2000 milligrams), magnesium (1000 milligrams), and zinc (50 milligrams) per day. Fruit and vegetable juices such as those of broccoli, carrots, kale, cauliflower, dark leafy greens, and apples may help your body fight off the cancer. Many herbs such as burdock root, red clover, gingko biloba, turmeric and ginseng may also play a role. Once again, see a doctor before adding these to your current treatment to avoid undesired interactions (See reference 2, resource 1).
Many types of cancer therapy fall outside the realm of chemotherapy and radiation. Metabolic therapy uses colon cleansing, detoxification and an anti-cancer diet based on enzymes, vitamins, minerals and whole foods. Shark cartilage therapy is supposed to block the creation of new blood vessels, limiting the growth of and eventually starving the tumor. Another treatment is antineoplaston therapy, which inhibits the growth of cancer using amino acid derivatives. Immune system treatments/immunologic therapies are alleged to boost the immune system and combat cancer cells with detoxification, uncontaminated water, vitamins, and diet. Biological and pharmacologic therapy uses nontoxic medications, human cell medications and plant cell medications to fight the cancer. Lastly, mind-body therapies use a score of treatments: bio-feedback, hypnosis, visualization, imagery, counseling, yoga, meditation, relaxation techniques, and massage therapy. Before embarking on any of these treatments, first contact your physician, and then get the opinions of several alternative care doctors before choosing the one for you (See reference 1, resource 1).