If you are thinking about adding an alternative therapy to your treatment regimen, you need to discuss it first with your medical team ó primary care doctor, oncologist, etc. Depending on their attitudes towards alternative medicine, they may or may not be useful in offering advice or making recommendations about alternative medicine. Keep in mind that many traditional doctors are still wary of alternative medicine and may try to dissuade you from exploring this approach. If this is the case, you still will want to get approval from your doctor first for any alternative treatment, but you may be better served seeking advice about alternative medicine elsewhere. Remember that one of the most important parts about healing is ensuring that you feel good about the people surrounding you. Choose a medical team that is responsive to your needs, and this responsive attitude includes respecting your belief system.
Unless you already have a specific alternative therapy in mind, the first step in choosing one is to learn more about those that are available. By visiting libraries and bookstores and contacting health organizations that focus on cancer, you should be able to find comprehensive, current books that provide additional information about alternative treatments.
When researching a particular alternative therapy for cancer, try to get information from other people who have used that treatment. Some patient support organisations and some alternative medicine clinics will provide lists of recovered patients who you can call or write.
Once you have a better idea of the therapy or therapies that would best serve your needs, contact educational organizations and patient-referral services that provide information on these treatments. Focus on those people who have the same kind of cancer you have, and ask them what specific treatments they found helpful.
When screening alternative practitioners and clinics, ask what their success has been in treating your specific form of cancer. Ask to see documented cases, research studies, and patients' testimonials, and view all information with a healthy dose of skepticism. Try to find out what you can expect from the treatment Ė for example, short-term improvement or long-term survival, for instance. Most importantly, determine whether the therapy fits in with your lifestyle, personality, and belief system.
Lastly, you need to be honest with yourself. Some alternative therapies for cancer require an enormous commitment that you may not be willing or able to make. Other alternative therapies for cancer may require too much time, too much travel, or too much money to be truly feasible for you. It is worth checking to see if your health insurance will cover any part of your alternative medicine treatment for cancer.
If you have the fortitude and resources to follow an alternative method of cancer treatment, and you overcome cancer, the rewards are priceless.