Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) refers to medical products and practices that are not part of standard medical care Hapé. People with cancer may use CAM to:
Relieve side effects of cancer treatment, such as nausea, pain, and fatigue
Coping with worry and stress related to cancer treatment
Feeling like they are doing something to help take care of themselves
Try a treatment or cure for cancer
Integrative medicine – A healthcare approach that combines conventional medical treatment with CAM practices shown to be safe and effective through scientific testing. It is also called integrative or integrative medicine. Generally, this approach gives importance to the patient’s preferences to respond to aspects of mental, physical and spiritual health.
Conventional Medicine – A system of health care practiced by medical professionals with a bachelor’s degree in Medicine or Osteopathic Medicine. In English, names are usually followed by “MD” or “DO.” These doctors treat symptoms and diseases through the use of medications, radiation therapy, or surgery. It is also used by other health professionals, such as nurses, pharmacists, medical associates, and therapists. It is sometimes called allopathic medicine , biomedicine , Western medicine, standard medicine, or orthodox medicine . Some professionals who practice conventional healthcare are also CAM professionals.
Standard medical care: Treatment that is accepted by medical experts as an appropriate treatment for a certain type of illness and is widely used by medical professionals. Also called reference treatment , standard of care, and standard treatment .
Complementary medicine – Treatment that is used along with standard treatment, but is not considered standard. An example is acupuncture , which is used to reduce some side effects caused by cancer treatment. For most types of complementary medicine, there is little research.
Alternative medicine – Treatment used in place of standard medical treatment. For example, using a special diet to treat cancer instead of medications prescribed by an oncologist. For most types of alternative medicine, there is less research.
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) offers a resource called Physician Data Query (PDQ®), which includes information about CAM treatments for patients and healthcare professionals .
Types of complementary and alternative medicine
Every day scientists learn about complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapies, but there is still more to learn. This list provides general information on the types of CAM in use; It doesn’t mean they have our support. Some of the therapies described below need to be investigated further to see if they are helpful . If you have cancer, talk to your doctor about how you plan to use them before starting any therapy.
People use terms like “natural,” “holistic,” “home remedy,” or “oriental medicine” to describe CAM therapies. But experts generally group them into five categories. Here they are described with examples.
Mind-body therapies (mind-body techniques)
These therapies combine mental concentration, breathing and body movement to relax the body and mind. For example:
Meditation : Concentration breathing or repetition of words or phrases to calm the mind and decrease thoughts and feelings that cause stress.
Biofeedback : Using special machines to help the patient learn to control certain body functions that they are not usually aware of, such as heart rate and blood pressure.
Hypnosis – Trance-like state in which a person becomes more aware of and focuses on certain feelings, thoughts, images, sensations, or behaviors. The person may feel calmer and more willing to accept suggestions that could help in healing.
Yoga – An ancient system of practices used to balance the mind and body through stretches and postures, meditation, and controlled breathing.
Tai chi – A form of gentle exercise and meditation that uses sets of slow body movements and controlled breathing.
Guided Imagery – Technique in which they use positive mental imagery, such as by focusing on scenes, images, or experiences to help the body heal. Also called imagery.
Creative expressions: activities such as art, music or dance.