Complementary and Alternative Remedies to Help With Breast Cancer

Complementary and Alternative Remedies to Help With Breast Cancer

Complementary and alternative medicine, (CAM), also known as complementary and integrative medicine (CIM), refers to other type of healing methods besides over the counter and prescription medication. While no alternative modalities have been discovered to help with breast cancer, there are several complementary therapies that can enhance one’s quality of life while dealing with breast cancer and treatment for it.

Johns Hopkins, one of the foremost hospitals in the US, offers the following CIM for their breast cancer patients:

  • Acupuncture
  • Educational materials on a variety of topics
  • Fitness guidance and services to help patients combat fatigue during treatment and achieve general wellness after treatment.
  • Massage therapy for patients and their family members
  • Nutritional consultations
  • Stress management counseling for patients and their family members

You may not live in Baltimore, but you can certainly access similar CAM in your own area.


This traditional Chinese medicine uses thin needles to move energy around the body for health, balance and healing. It is usually covered by the CAM provision in your insurance policy, but be sure to check.

Educational materials on a variety of topics

Education about breast cancer, and about CAM that can help, is important as you undertake your breast cancer journey. Research points the way to treatments with the most benefit. You can also learn from experienced staff, and from others who have gone through the same journey as yourself and been cured of their cancer. Make the most of all the support available during this difficult phase of your life.

Fitness guidance

After surgery, you may have to do special exercises to restore range of motion. Exercise will also boost your energy and help you burn calories, to avoid the weight gain often associated with breast cancer treatment.

Exercise can help combat fatigue as well. Yoga and tai chi also integrate mind and body, to help you de-stress.

Massage therapy

Massage helps you de-stress and can ease aches and pains. When used with aromatherapy, it can calm, or energize, depending on which essential oils are used. Certain oils and pressure points can also relieve nausea, a common symptom related to chemotherapy.

Nutritional consultations

A healthy diet is important for a good outcome, especially since food might taste different after treatments like chemo, and nausea and vomiting can compromise your nutrition.

Stress management

Having cancer can be extremely stressful. Stress management techniques like meditation and talk therapy can help some of the anxiety over your cancer diagnosis.

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