Integrated therapies

Integrated therapies may help many people with cancerAbnormal, uncontrolled cell division resulting in a malignant tumour that may invade surrounding tissues or spread to distant parts of the body., for example by alleviating the side-effects of conventional medical treatment, although it is important to note that none of these therapies have been shown to alter the course of the condition itself. It is important to speak with your doctor about any therapies you try as some, such as herbal remedies, may interfere with conventional treatment.

Self-administered acupressureA complementary therapy derived from acupuncture, which uses finger pressure rather than the fine sterile needles used in acupuncture. can help to prevent nausea following chemotherapyThe use of chemical substances to treat disease, particularly cancer., and is easy to learn. This technique utilizes the same points as acupunctureA complementary therapy in which fine sterile needles are inserted into the skin at specific points., but involves simply pressing on these points rather than stimulating them with the small needles that are used in acupunctureA complementary therapy in which fine sterile needles are inserted into the skin at specific points.. Electroacupuncture involves stimulating the acupunctureA complementary therapy in which fine sterile needles are inserted into the skin at specific points. points with a low electrical current, and has also been shown to be beneficial for chemotherapyThe use of chemical substances to treat disease, particularly cancer.-induced acuteHas a sudden onset. vomiting. These therapies are usually given in combination with anti-nausea medications.

Fatigue can have a huge impact on the lives of people with cancerAbnormal, uncontrolled cell division resulting in a malignant tumour that may invade surrounding tissues or spread to distant parts of the body., particularly following treatment such as chemotherapyThe use of chemical substances to treat disease, particularly cancer.. One small study suggested that acupunctureA complementary therapy in which fine sterile needles are inserted into the skin at specific points. can be helpful in alleviating fatigue and improving motivation in people who have undergone chemotherapyThe use of chemical substances to treat disease, particularly cancer.. It is a safe, low-cost remedy that may be given in clinic initially, followed by self-acupunctureA complementary therapy in which fine sterile needles are inserted into the skin at specific points. afterwards.

Another potential benefit of acupunctureA complementary therapy in which fine sterile needles are inserted into the skin at specific points. in men with prostate cancerAbnormal, uncontrolled cell division resulting in a malignant tumour that may invade surrounding tissues or spread to distant parts of the body. is the relief of symptoms such as hot flushes and night sweats. Acupuncture is also sometimes given with the aim of alleviating pain in people with cancerAbnormal, uncontrolled cell division resulting in a malignant tumour that may invade surrounding tissues or spread to distant parts of the body., although there is conflicting evidence as to its benefit for this purpose.

A number of other integrated therapies are helpful for people with cancerAbnormal, uncontrolled cell division resulting in a malignant tumour that may invade surrounding tissues or spread to distant parts of the body.. Like acupunctureA complementary therapy in which fine sterile needles are inserted into the skin at specific points., relaxation techniques and hypnotherapyAny form of psychotherapy that uses hypnosis. are also likely to be beneficial in reducing chemotherapyThe use of chemical substances to treat disease, particularly cancer.-induced nausea and vomiting.

Aromatherapy has been shown to improve wellbeing and to reduce levels of anxiety in people who have cancerAbnormal, uncontrolled cell division resulting in a malignant tumour that may invade surrounding tissues or spread to distant parts of the body., as well as massage, music therapy and relaxation exercises. One example of relaxation therapy is progressive muscleTissue made up of cells that can contract to bring about movement. relaxation, which involves the systematic contraction and relaxation of specific muscleTissue made up of cells that can contract to bring about movement. groups. Regular exercise lowers the severity of adverse effectsUndesirable side-effects of medication. resulting from conventional medical therapies.