There are several options available to patients who wish to explore alternative treatments for breast cancer, such as manipulative therapies, therapies that focus on the mind and body connections, and whole medicine systems developed to treat the person as a whole. Many patients and doctors also believe that the correct type of diet can be beneficial in battling this disease. Some patients choose to use these therapies in combination with other more traditional treatments including radiation, chemotherapy, and possibly surgery, while other choose to try the alternative options alone. Most doctors recommend breast cancer patients use conventional treatments along with the complementary therapies, as the effects of many of the unconventional treatments are widely unknown.
One of the most popular forms of alternative treatments for breast cancer is the mind and body connection practices. These therapies are associated with the belief that the mind can impact the body's function. Prayer, meditation, and visualization practices are a few examples of this type of therapy. Patients may choose to visualize their treatments and medications destroying the cancer cells, or pray individually or with loved ones for recovery. Meditation practices are used in a similar manner to focus on encouraging the body both to fight the disease as well as heal. Studies done on the mind and body connections have yielded a variety of results, yet many doctors strongly recommend patients try to use this practice to their benefit.
Whole medicine systems refer to the practice of treating the patient as a whole, as opposed concentrating on the disease. These practices are most often culturally based, such as the ayurveda system of India and the Chinese practice of acupuncture. Naturopathy and homoeopathy, which rely heavily on the use of herbs, essential oils, and other all natural remedies to promote health and healing, are also popular whole medicine system treatments. In general, these alternative treatments for breast cancer are considered to be best used with more traditional treatments.
Manipulative therapies such as massage therapy, chiropractic care, and osteopathic manipulations are believed to be beneficial by promoting the most natural and healthy state for the entire body. As alternative treatments for breast cancer, manipulative therapy is used to relieve pain, soothe stress and anxiety, as well as encourage the best possible health for all systems of the body. In more advanced cases of breast cancer massage therapy may be discouraged, as the techniques are designed to move blood and lymph, and may spread cancerous cells more quickly through the body.
Diet can also play a key role in regards to treating breast cancer naturally. Most physicians encourage a well rounded diet full of fresh vegetables and fruits, lean meats, and whole grains at all times during treatment. It is also recommended to consume green tea, herbs such as turmeric and garlic, and onions for their anti-cancer benefits.