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Cancer and the Use of Alternative Therapy

Cancer patients face many daily challenges, including uncomfortable and debilitating symptoms from chemo and radiation.

Doctors can prescribe pills for many of these symptoms, but some patients prefer to address these with non-medicated treatment.


Cancer patients often struggle with pain, especially since the cancer may have spread by the time of diagnosis. Many also feel a constant and heightened anxiety that comes with the diagnosis and prognosis of this serious and aggressive form of cancer.

The most popular forms of alternative and non-invasive treatments for cancer patients include:


  • Massage: Someone skilled in the art of therapeutic massage can help the patient reduce both the pain and stress associated with cancer. Some studies have shown that massage may also enhance the immune system and aid in healing.


  • Acupuncture: An ancient Chinese healing practice, acupuncture has shown great benefit in addressing cancer pain. It involves the use of long, thin needles that are placed at particular points on the body. Each point corresponds to a part of the body where pain needs to be addressed. The FDA has deemed these needles “medical devices”, indicating their confidence in the treatment.


  • Meditation: This alternative therapy allows the patient to summon a state of relaxation through deep breathing exercises and the establishment of a mind-body connection. Easy to learn, it can be repeated frequently and at any time with no harm to the patient.


  • Yoga: Some cancer patients who are physically able to do yoga note that it teaches them how to lead a calmer life. Some hospitals offer special yoga classes for cancer patients.

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