Receiving a cancer diagnosis is one of the scariest things that can happen in your life. And for most people, as soon as you hear the news, you start researching every cancer treatment available to maximize your chances of survival.
Although doctors will usually recommend a combination of radiation, surgery or chemotherapy to remove the cancer as quickly as possible, there are other non-invasive, complementary cancer treatments you can add to your medical regimen to help relieve your symptoms and improve your prognosis.
Here are a few complementary cancer treatments you can try:
- Change Your Diet
Switching to a healthy diet is one of the best things you can do to make a positive change in your cancer prognosis. First, start by eliminating all refined sugar and refined carbohydrates, which can feed cancer cells. Next, cut out any foods that may cause cancer, such as trans fats (found in many processed foods), aspartame, MSG, etc. And finally, load up on as many raw fruits and vegetables as possible. Some of the best ones are raw leafy greens like spinach and kale; cruciferous veggies like cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli and Brussel sprouts; all types of berries, which are high in anti-oxidants; orange-colored fruits and veggies like citrus, squash and sweet potatoes; and herbs and spices like turmeric and garlic.
- Try Acupuncture
Although acupuncture may not cure cancer, it has been shown to be a very effective way of reducing the side-effects of other cancer treatments, such as vomiting, nausea, pain, dry mouth, fatigue, insomnia, depression and anxiety. In fact, its use has become so common that doctors are frequently prescribing it as part of their treatments, and many insurance companies are now covering it as well.
One of the biggest issues that people face when they have cancer is an increase in anxiety and worry. And the more stress you’re under, the less your immune system is able to fight off inflammation and destroy unhealthy cancer cells. That’s why finding ways to calm down and de-stress are so important. Meditation is a great way of reducing anxiety and calming your mind – and it’s free!
- Take Yoga
Like meditation, yoga is a great way of reducing the anxiety and stress that come along with a cancer diagnosis. But yoga has other benefits, too. The American Cancer Society says most doctors recommend doing regular exercise throughout your cancer treatment, and yoga is a safe, non-strenuous way to stay active. Plus, yoga increases blood flow and stimulates your lymphatic system, which helps release toxins from your body that are built up from rigorous cancer treatments.
- Stock Up on Supplements
When you can’t get all of the nutrients you need from your food, turn to supplements for help. Some of the most popular supplements for cancer patients include immune-boosting and anti-inflammatory ones such as curcumin, maitake mushrooms, fish oil, and green tea extracts. However, some supplements may interact with other medications you are taking, so be sure to consult with your physician before taking anything.
Interested in learning more about what to do if you have received a positive result on a cancer screening test? Come to our free workshop at the Cancer Wellness Center in Northbrook on Tuesday, Nov. 7!