Herbal remedies have been around for for thousands of years. Now, women with breast cancer facing chemotherapy and radiation are supplementing this traditional medicine with herbal remedies and alternative treatments. They are not abandoning the usual breast cancer treatment; they are using herbal remedies and alternative treatments to curb the side effects.
Ginseng has been used by the Chinese for centuries. They believe that it stimulates the immune system and energies the patient. There are more than 30 active compounds in the ginseng root. Many of the compounds are believed to have anti-tumor properties. In a Chinese study it was found that women who took ginseng before their diagnosis had a higher survival rate than the women who took ginseng after their diagnosis. Women have reported that they have a higher quality of life and suffer less depression while using ginseng.
There is a mushroom, the Maitake that helps in boosting the immune system. Here again, in the East this has been used widely. Lab studies have been done using liquid Maitake extract. Many researchers believe that the mushrooms contain beta-glucans which helps to enhance the immune system. They still don’t know why, but they are working on it.
Mistletoe extract has been used in Europe to treat cancer patients for over 80 years. It has been shown to kill cancer cells and boost the immune system. There have been very few studies done here on mistletoe, but some research is under way and will be out at the end of this year. Researchers are studying the safety, the effects on the immune system and its toxicity.
Acupuncture is especially helpful for nausea and post surgical pain. Many studies done by research oncologists have shown that acupuncture was better for women with breast cancer than the medication taken to fight nausea. It also helps in loss of appetite, fatigue and sleep disorders. The AAMA recommends women with breast cancer should get acupuncture during their chemotherapy treatments but only after you have spoken to your primary doctor.
All doctors and researchers stress that diet and exercise play a key role in treating cancer. Stick to a diet that is high in fruits, vegetables and grains. The National Cancer Institute recommends at least 5 servings of fresh fruits and vegetables per day. Phytochemicals are found in fruits and vegetables and they prevent cancers in a number of ways. Research shows that they help in detoxification of carcinogens, DNA repair, boosting of the immune system and maintenance of cellular control mechanisms. Obesity plays a role in getting cancer. Change your diet, eat healthy and go for a walk or ride a bike. This is a suggestion we should all take to heart.
These alternative methods may well help you through your breast cancer treatment and perhaps even get you a speedier recovery. New studies are being done everyday for women with breast cancer. Discuss these alternative therapies with your Doctor and always let your physician and your oncologist know about any therapies you want to take, before you take them. This will make sure that the alternative therapy won’t interfere with your chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor nor am I in the medical field. This is just information that I researched out of curiosity and the desire to know all of the options available.
Copyright ? Mary Hanna, All Rights Reserved.
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