The Truth About Holistic Cancer Treatments

by | Nov 10, 2022 | Cancer Treatment

When it comes to holistic cancer treatments, buyer beware. While they may make claims of curing cancer, they do not. However, some may work in tandem with approved medical treatments to reduce pain, stress, nausea, and problems sleeping. The result: Improving your quality of life.

The cancer experts at the CyberKnife Center of Miami, a state-of-the-art cancer treatment center in South Florida that uses the most precise form of radiation to kill tumors, compiled a list of therapies that can help you while undergoing cancer treatment. For instance, a holistic approach to cancer treatment may include practicing meditation or yoga while undergoing CyberKnife radiation for cancer.

The National Cancer Institute breaks alternative therapies into several categories: mind-body therapies, biologically based practices, manipulative therapies, energy healing and whole-body systems.


Mind-Body Holistic Therapies

Mind-body therapies include meditation, yoga, hypnosis, tai chi, biofeedback, imagery and other creative outlets like music or dance. These practices are designed to help relax the body. When you are stressed, as many cancer patients are, your body’s immune system is not only fighting the cancer but also the stress. These practices help with stress reduction, and as a result can help your body fight the disease. According to the Mayo Clinic, these practices may help with anxiety, fatigue, pain, sleep issues, stress as well as nausea and vomiting. 


Biologically Based Holistic Treatments

These include vitamins and herbal supplements as well as dietary changes. Keep in mind, you will want to check with your oncologist and all doctors involved in treating your cancer before starting any special diet touted to help cure cancer or taking any supplements. Some may be helpful, others harmful. Your medical team can help guide you.


Manipulative Therapies 

These holistic cancer treatments include massage, reflexology, and chiropractic therapy. Again, check with your medical team or cancer doctor before beginning any of these treatments. 

You may want to seek out specially trained therapists who work with cancer patients. 

For instance, some massage therapists help cancer patients with lymphedema, swelling sometimes associated with certain cancers and cancer treatments

But we cannot stress this strongly enough. 

Ask your cancer experts to point you in the right direction. They will know who is good at this.


Energy Healing

Reiki, a form of Japanese energy healing where practitioners use light touch or place their hands over a person’s body to transfer healing energy. This may or may not help but it cannot hurt.


Whole Medical Systems

Ayurvedic medicine is a healing therapy from India that combines diet, herbs, meditation, breathing and exercise to promote healing. Traditional Chinese medicine aims to restore the balance of health within the body with techniques like acupuncture and Chinese herbs. Be extra careful with the herbs. Check with your doctor before taking anything like that.


A Word of Warning

While many of the holistic cancer treatments mentioned above like yoga, acupuncture, and meditation, have been shown to be safe when done correctly. Others could be harmful. Work with your doctors to determine the risks and benefits. That is especially true for herbs, supplements, vitamins, and certain diets.

The American Cancer Society also warns against delaying any approved treatment like radiation, surgery or chemotherapy in favor of any alternative therapy. That delay would give the cancer time to grow and spread.


Clinical Trials for Alternative Cancer Therapies 

The National Cancer Institute as well as the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Medicine sponsor clinical trials to evaluate how cancer patients can benefit from holistic treatments. Here you can find an approved list of clinical trials. 


Cancer Treatment Miami 

CyberKnife Miami uses stereotactic body radiation therapy or SBRT to treat cancer with precision, fewer side effects and less downtime.

According to Accuray, the maker of CyberKnife, the treatment can be used on prostate, lung, brain, spine, liver, pancreas, and kidney tumors. It can also be used on tumors where surgery is not an option or in the case of metastasis. 

“CyberKnife is the most refined way to target a tumor and minimize the dose to normal tissue,” Dr. Mark Pomper – CyberKnife Miami’s medical director and board-certified radiation oncologist—says on CyberKnife Miami’s YouTube Channel.

The side effects from CyberKnife often depend on the area being treated, the type of cancer a patient has and a person’s overall health. But we do everything we can to minimize side effects. That includes talking to our patients about safe forms of holistic cancer therapies that patients can incorporate while receiving CyberKnife treatments.

We know a cancer diagnosis is stressful, and any safe, holistic adjunct therapy that can reduce stress, anxiety or pain may help patients feel better overall. Just be sure to ask about all various holistic therapies before trying them. They could interfere with your treatment plan.

At the CyberKnife Center of Miami, our goal is to get your life back to normal as soon as possible, cancer free and while going through treatment maintaining your quality of life.

If you would like to find out more about treatment with CyberKnife, call us at 305-279-2900 or go to our website now for more information