Alternative medicine treatments can't cure anal cancer. But some alternative medicine treatments may help you cope with the side effects of cancer treatment. Your doctor can treat many side effects, but sometimes medications aren't enough. Alternative treatments can complement your doctor's treatments and may offer additional comfort.
Options for common side effects include:
- Anxiety — massage, meditation, hypnosis, music therapy, exercise or relaxation techniques
- Fatigue — gentle exercise or tai chi
- Nausea — acupuncture, hypnosis or music therapy
- Pain — acupuncture, massage, music therapy or hypnosis
- Sleep problems — yoga or relaxation techniques
While these options are generally safe, talk with your doctor first to be sure that alternative medicine options won't interfere with your cancer treatment.
Jul. 26, 2013
- Deng GE, et al. Evidence-based clinical practice guidelines for integrative oncology: Complementary therapies and botanicals. Journal of the Society for Integrative Oncology. 2009;7:85.
- Anal carcinoma. Fort Washington, Pa.: National Comprehensive Cancer Network. http://www.nccn.org/professionals/physician_gls/f_guidelines.asp. Accessed May 23, 2013.
- Anal cancer treatment (PDQ). National Cancer Institute. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/treatment/anal/patient. Accessed May 23, 2013.
- Gardasil (prescribing information). Whitehouse Station, N.J.: Merck & Co. Inc.; 2013. http://www.gardasil.com. Accessed May 23, 2013.
- Cervarix (prescribing information). Research Triangle Park, N.C.: GlaxoSmithKline; 2012. http://us.gsk.com/html/medicines/index.html#vaccines. Accessed May 23, 2013.
- Taking time: Support for people with cancer. National Cancer Institute. http://cancer.gov/cancertopics/takingtime. Accessed May 28, 2013.
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