Cancer treatment is difficult. Each of the current treatments available have many side effects which can be debilitating and interrupt daily life. These side effects occur due to the treatments effecting healthy organs and tissue. Chemotherapy, radiotherapy and hormone therapy all have their host of issues. While these treatments are ultimately designed to help rid patients of their cancer, they can be just as difficult to deal with. This is why oncology teams provide complementary care alongside cancer treatment to help patients cope with the side effects. Complementary therapies can range from drugs, such as anti-emetics, to holistic therapies like acupuncture. Integrating the best complementary and alternative care can help manage side effects and cancer symptoms.
Complementary and alternative medicines are types of methods used to help ease symptoms of cancer and treatments to improve the quality of life for patients. Patients should consult with their doctors to see what kind of complementary therapies are offered alongside their mainstream cancer treatments. Depending on the side effect, there can be a multitude of different therapies. These therapies are not meant to cure or treat any disease and should not be used to replace any medication or treatments prescribed by a doctor. Doctors will be able to suggest therapies that will work best for a patient’s well-being and which will not interfere with conventional treatments. Some seemingly harmless remedies, such as certain types of vitamin and supplements, can actually lessen the effects of conventional therapies.
Dr. Mirko Beljanski studied the effects of a very specific, and very unique extract of golden Ginkgo Biloba leaves. According to his research, when the Ginkgo leaves to change from green to yellow they have different properties which make them useful in providing relief from cancer treatment side effects. Unlike the regular extract obtained from the green Ginkgo leaves, the yellow leaf extract protects side effects from gamma-radiation, protects chromosomes and has a positive effect on the liver. The Ginkgo Biloba helps control the production of cancer markers from the damaging effects of cancer treatments. For radiotherapy treatments specifically, the Ginkgo Biloba extract protects against fibrosis and burns, but it is beneficial in protecting the body against the detrimental side effects of all cancer treatments.
Dr. Beljanski’s RNA fragments can also complement cancer treatments, especially chemotherapy and radiotherapy. The small RNA fragments can help stimulate white blood cell count and platelets, which can decrease to low levels. The fragments help balance white blood cell count and platelets which in turn increases the effectiveness of cancer treatments. They also prevent thrombocytopenia, or dangerously low blood cell count, in patients taking chemotherapy. With the RNA fragments, chemotherapy treatment can continue without the danger of a patient bleeding to death during infusions. This means that treatments can last a shorter duration because they are not being suspended, making them more effective in killing the cancer.
Complementary therapies are not only used to help with side effects, but they are also provided for the emotional and psychological toll of coping with cancer. For patients dealing with anxiety, getting a massage or employing meditation exercises can help relax the mind and body. Stress has been proven to have multiple negative effects on the body, so learning to cope with anxiety can positively impact overall treatment. Aromatherapy can help with anxiety and stress levels by providing calming sensation. Yoga and Tai Chi can also be beneficial for this reason as well. Exercise has an overall benefit of improving quality of life and helping cancer patients live longer. Acupuncture has been proven to help with myriad side effects such as fatigue, hot flashes, nausea and vomiting. While it is not exactly clear how acupuncture works to help the body, traditional Chinese medicine states that it balances the body’s energies by inserting needles into the skin to unblock pathways.
Combining these therapies with conventional cancer treatments can help patients live longer and improve their quality of life. Cancer is not easy to live with or to treat, but there are ways to manage symptoms and side effects. It is important to integrate complementary therapies into cancer treatment so that patients have a better chance at beating the disease.