Are there any alternative treatment options for renal cell carcinoma?
No alternative medicine approaches — those used in place of traditional medical care — are proved to be effective at treating any type of cancer.
But complementary approaches — those used along with standard medical treatment — may help you to:
- Cope with side effects of cancer treatments, like nausea, pain and fatigue
- Reduce stress or anxiety
- Improve quality of life
Examples of complementary medicine approaches sometimes used alongside standard medical treatments for cancer include:
- Acupuncture to help with pain and nausea
- Aromatherapy to ease nausea, anxiety and pain
- Meditation to help with stress, anxiety and pain
- Music, art or dance therapy for relaxation and to ease nausea, pain and fatigue
- Yoga, massage and other relaxation exercises to decrease stress and help with nausea, pain and fatigue
These treatments are not substitutes for standard medical care. But when used under a doctor's supervision, complementary approaches can be safe and effective during cancer treatment.
Certain therapies and products are not recommended at all or not recommended for certain people. And some herbs and plant-based medicines may reduce the effectiveness of common cancer medicines. Be sure to talk with your health care provider before trying something new.
Oct. 13, 2020
See more Expert Answers
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- Thinking about complementary and alternative medicine. National Cancer Institute. https://www.cancer.gov/publications/patient-education/thinking-about-cam. Accessed Jan. 3, 2020.
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- Why aromatherapy is showing up in hospital surgical units. Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/why-aromatherapy-is-showing-up-in-hospital-surgical-units/art-20342126. Accessed Sept. 12, 2020.
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