There are many options available for treatment upon receiving a mesothelioma diagnosis. Traditional treatments—chemotherapy, surgery, and/or radiation—may be the very first options that a physician will recommend. These, however, are not the only options, and many individuals suffering from mesothelioma choose to couple the traditional forms of mesothelioma treatment with alternative options.
Alternative treatments that may benefit individuals who suffer from asbestos cancer include:
Acupuncture is often used as a palliative therapy, involving the insertion of very narrow needles into the skin at specific pressure points. This has been proven to relieve pain in many individuals suffering from a wide variety of ailments, including mesothelioma.
This method of therapy involves the use of aromatic oils, plants, and other substances to be used in conjunction with massages and or baths. These fragrances may result in a heightened mood, which can promote good health and pain relief.
Art therapy is an alternative therapy than can help cancer patients deal with the physical and emotional challenges that they often experience during treatment.
Biofeedback, also known as mind-body therapy, can help individuals diagnosed with mesothelioma manage the pain that is often associated with the disease.
Bowenwork can help elicit the relaxation response in mesothelioma cancer patients to help lessen the side effects associated with traditional treatments like chemotherapy and radiation.
Chiropractic care is an alternative therapy used to help mesothelioma cancer patients manage pain while going through conventional treatments such as chemotherapy.
Craniosacral therapy, a process of light touches on the bones of the skull, spine, and pelvis, is an alternative treatment aimed at releasing tension and improving body movement. This type of therapy can help manage pain and the side effects of more conventional treatments for mesothelioma.
Dance therapy is an expressive method of treatment that helps patients connect with the emotional issues that exist when dealing with a serious illness like mesothelioma cancer.
The Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is used as a complementary therapy to other conventional mesothelioma cancer treatments to help relieve pain and anxiety in patients.
The Chinese practice of feng shui recommends making changes to a cancer patient’s environment to enhance the flow of qi. This complementary therapy can support mesothelioma cancer patients throughout their mesothelioma treatment.
Healing touch therapy is an emerging therapy that is becoming more widely used by patients battling cancers like mesothelioma. This therapy invokes the relaxation response in patients and can help lessen the negative side effects associated with conventional cancer treatments.
Health coaching can help mesothelioma patients to enjoy a better quality of life, lessen pain and stress, and make important lifestyle changes that can help speed up recovery from their cancer treatment.
Many natural herbs have medicinal aspects which have been used to treat seemingly incurable ailments. Many times, nutritional supplements work in conjunction with herbal remedies to provide the body with the necessary vitamins and minerals to fight off infection and other illness.
Many cancer patients, including those battling malignant mesothelioma, have turned to homeopathy because it is a natural alternative to aggressive conventional cancer treatment drugs and can help manage the adverse side effects associated with such drugs.
Guided hypnosis sessions can have a substantially positive effect on a patient undergoing treatment for cancer, including mesothelioma. Hypnosis is increasingly being integrated into alternative cancer treatment regimens for this reason.
Light therapy is a complementary therapy that some cancer patients find helpful to throughout the course of their conventional treatment to help reduce pain, stress and anxiety.
Manual lymph drainage therapy is a technique that uses very gentle manipulation to help reduce swelling in the body after surgery or radiation treatment in mesothelioma cancer patients.
Integrative manual therapy is a gentle, non-invasive form of therapy that can be very helpful for cancer patients looking to ease pain and anxiety from their illness.
Massage therapy is the practice of hands-on physical manipulation of the body's soft tissue. Massage can be both relaxing and pain-relieving. Massage methods include Acupressure, Anma, and Balinese, all of which have differing effects on the body. Massage is often used during treatments for certain health conditions, like cancer, to ease muscle tension and induce relaxation.
Meditation is the process of moving into deep relaxation. It is therapeutic in the sense that it can help patients develop a calm mind to make sound decisions and be at peace with health conditions they may have, including cancer like mesothelioma.
Music therapy is a complementary therapy than can help alleviate the uncomfortable side effects of cancer treatment as well as help reduce both chronic and acute pain.
Myofascial therapy can be used by cancer patients, including those who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, to help manage the pain that sometimes accompanies traditional cancer treatment.
Naturopathy is an alternative paradigm of medicine that focuses on nature's remedy and the body's intrinsic ability to heal itself. Naturopathy favors a holistic approach to treating illnesses like mesothelioma through the use of mineral, diet, and lifestyle-based remedies.
Proper nutrition and a healthy lifestyle can prove to be an important factor in the treatment of someone who has been diagnosed with mesothelioma.
Osteopathic medicine is a complementary therapy that mesothelioma cancer patients find helpful for reducing stress, fatigue and some of the unpleasant side effects of chemotherapy.
Maintaining some level of movement can be a tremendous help to cancer patients undergoing treatment and can lead to improved outlook and quality of life. There are personal fitness trainers that are specifically trained to provide this type of support to cancer patients.
Pet Therapy, or animal-assisted therapy, utilizes dogs and other animals as a soothing and relaxing modality for patients battling mesothelioma and other cancer.
Foot reflexology is an alternative treatment therapy designed to help mesothelioma cancer patients manage pain.
Reiki promotes a deep sense of relaxation and well-being and is an alternative therapy that many mesothelioma cancer patients are now using as part of their overall treatment plan.
Some cancer patients welcome the use of more non-invasive therapies, like sound therapy, that can help alleviate the stress and pain that is often associated with more traditional forms of cancer treatment.
Transcutaneous Electric Nerve Stimulation is used as a palliative care option. An electrical stimulation is directed through different areas of the body resulting in pain relief which can increase the level of endorphins. TENS Therapy is typically administered by a physical therapist, but can also be done at home if a patient has the necessary documentation for TENS equipment.
Thermography, which is a type of medical imaging, can help detect problems in the body, like mesothelioma cancer, and can also aid in monitoring the healing process.
Yoga is a combination of meditation and movement. Yoga is of Hindu origin and is designed to promote a heightened sense of oneness between body and mind, inducing relaxation and contentment.
Why should I consider alternative treatment?
When paired with traditional treatment methods, alternative options can be an important component of a mesothelioma treatment plan. These alternative methods are most helpful in controlling pain and maintaining balance and peace within an individual's mind and body. Many patients find treatments, such as massage or meditation, to be a welcome distraction from the ongoing cycle of hospital visits, medication, and general stress associated with a cancer diagnosis.
It is very important to consult with your physician before pursuing any new form of treatment. A doctor will be able to determine whether or not a patient is healthy enough to incorporate alternative treatment practices into their already-established treatment plan.