Complementary & Alternative Therapies

The terms "complementary" and "alternative" are sometimes used to refer to non-traditional methods of diagnosing, preventing, or treating cancer or its symptoms. Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) includes a wide variety of therapies, botanicals, nutritional products, and practices. These forms of treatment are used in addition to (complementary) or instead of (alternative) standard treatments. .

These treatments do not replace conventional cancer care and are not intended to treat cancer, but research suggests that certain types of complementary therapies may help manage symptoms and side effects and improve a person’s overall sense of well-being. The types of complementary therapies to cancer care that are reported to be the most helpful are:  prayer and spiritual practice, relaxation, faith and spiritual healing, and nutritional supplements and vitamins. CAM therapies have been used to manage side effects caused by cancer or cancer treatment and to help patients comfort themselves and ease the worries of cancer treatment and related stress.  Often times, patients that practice CAM feel  that they are doing something more to help with their own care.