Alternative medicine

By Mayo Clinic Staff

No complementary or alternative medicine treatments can cure salivary gland cancer. But complementary and alternative medicine treatments may help you cope with salivary gland cancer and the side effects of cancer treatment.

Complementary treatments for fatigue

Many people undergoing radiation therapy for cancer experience fatigue. Your doctor can treat underlying causes of fatigue, but the feeling of being utterly worn out may persist despite treatments.

Complementary therapies can help you cope with fatigue. Ask your doctor about trying:

  • Exercise. Try gentle exercise for 30 minutes on most days of the week. Moderate exercise, such as brisk walking, during and after cancer treatment reduces fatigue. Talk to your doctor before you begin exercising, to make sure it's safe for you.
  • Acupuncture. Acupuncture involves inserting several thin needles into your skin at certain points on your body. Acupuncture is safe when it's done by a certified practitioner, but check with your doctor first to be sure it's OK for you. Ask your doctor to recommend a practitioner in your community.
  • Massage therapy. During a massage, a massage therapist uses his or her hands to apply pressure to your skin and muscles. Some massage therapists are specially trained to work with people who have cancer. Ask your doctor for names of massage therapists in your community.
  • Relaxation. Activities that help you feel relaxed may help you cope. Try listening to music or writing in a journal.
April 22, 2015