Q. Are there any alternative treatment options available for cervical cancer? Or things I could be doing in addition to standard treatment?
Alternative treatment options for cancer can include a wide variety of approaches that are sometimes used in place of conventional measures of care practiced by Western practitioners, such as chemotherapy and radiation. Examples of alternative treatment options may include acupuncture, acupressure, homeopathy and naturopathy. When these alternative practices are used in conjunction with conventional medicine they are often referred to as complementary medicine. To learn more, read Memorial Sloan-Kettering’s publication, Complementary Therapies to Ease the Way During Cancer Treatment and Recovery .
When considering alternative and complementary treatment for cervical cancer, it is very important to communicate with your medical team. Some alternative therapies may be contraindicated for the treatment plan your doctor has recommended. The National Cancer Institute (NCI)’s Office of Cancer Complementary and Alternative Medicine and the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) provide extensive information and sponsor clinical trials that examine complementary practices in cancer care. For more information on these trials and the current research in this area, call NCI at 1-800-4-CANCER or read their publication, Thinking About Complementary and Alternative Medicine: A Guide for People With Cancer.
If you’re considering utilizing alternative or complementary therapies, it is important to keep your medical team informed about what you are doing/taking; keeping the lines of communication open and being open about any additional therapies you are utilizing can allow you and your medical team to continue working as a team for optimal outcomes. For tips on effective ways to speak to your medical team, see CancerCare’s fact sheet, “Doctor, Can We Talk?“ Tips for Communicating With Your Health Care Team.