Alternative Leukemia Therapies

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Many leukemia patients seek out alternative therapies to cure their cancer. Some do so after clinical science has been unable to heal them; others in the place of scientific treatment.

More leukemia patients are using alternative therapies to complement their Western treatments. Alternative complementary therapies can help a patient manage stress, nausea, pain, or other symptoms of leukemia or side effects of radiation or chemotherapy.

Some of these alternative leukemia therapies include:

  • Acupuncture
  • Aromatherapy
  • Art and Other Expressive Therapy
  • Chiropractic
  • Herbal Remedies
  • Massage
  • Meditation
  • Prayer

Researching Alternative Leukemia Therapies

Leukemia patients can be easily taken advantage of by unscrupulous healers. This unfortunately occurs because dishonest people prey on the turbulent emotions and financial concerns facing leukemia patients.

When seeking any alternative treatment, do your research. Compare, compare, compare. Look at the claims made by different healers in the therapy that interests you. Compare these to the other healers. Ask questions. Ask where and when the healer was accredited. Ask for names of previous patients you can contact as references. Ask about deadlines: How long will treatment take? Ask what the likely outcomes are. And always have an initial consultation before beginning any alternative treatment or therapy.

When seeking out or using complementary therapies, make sure to let your clinical doctor know. Do not be afraid that your Western doctor might look down on alternative therapy. Over one-third of adults in the U.S. use some form of complementary or alternative medicine (and nearly two-thirds if prayer is included). Your doctor might even be able to recommend an alternative practitioner he or she has worked with previously.

Stay Informed of the Benefits and Risks

If a clinical doctor discourages you from continuing a complementary therapy or a holistic healer from using a Western therapy, try for an open discussion with the professional and listen to the reasons why. Sometimes more is not better. Interactions between two different therapies can have a negative effect, much like how mixing two individually effective household cleaners (bleach and ammonia) can have toxic results.

St. John’s wort (used to boost the spirits of someone suffering depression) and other herbs can likewise have increase the toxicity of certain chemicals or make skin more sensitive to radiation. Even Vitamin C supplements can affect your treatment. Though something is natural or otherwise said to be good for you, make sure to check with your doctors first before taking or using a new drug or remedy.

The Future of Leukemia Therapies

Western science in the last decade has gained new means of attacking cancer-producing leukemia cells, but its greatest accomplishment may be its incorporating complementary therapies into its practices. Alternative approaches help patients survive toxic leukemia treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy by helping patients deal with pain and giving them the inner strength and assurances needed during trying times.

Clinical trials for alternative and complementary therapies for leukemia patients are opening all the time. Check out the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (part of National Institutes of Health, which is an agency under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) listing to see what alternative clinical trials are open to enrollment in your area.


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