Only a few cancer patients and cancer survivors know the use of “natural medicine” to ease the side-effects of chemotherapy, radiation, and hormonal treatments. However, it is more important than ever to let people know that they have a deep arsenal of safe and natural remedies to take on the great challenge of relieving cancer side-effects.
While it’s possible that some natural treatments for side-effects could interfere the current cancer treatment, most of them don’t. Yet, it is advisable to consult your oncologist or healthcare provider before committing to alternative medicines to treat chemotherapy or cancer side-effects.
3 Intentions Of Administering Chemotherapy
Abbreviated as “chemo,” chemotherapy is basically any form of drug to treat any type of disease, not just cancer. It’s a powerful treatment to kill cancer cells spread throughout the body, than radiation and surgery.
Your doctor will administer chemotherapy based on the following goals.
Although your doctor may not specify your cancer could be “cured,” chemotherapy could be given with curative intent.
If curing cancer is not possible, the doctor may use chemotherapy to control the disease and cease its spread.
Palliative chemotherapy is used with the intention of improving the patient’s quality of life and making them feel better when the cancer becomes uncontrollable or has reached an advanced stage.
Chemotherapy could also be used as neoadjuvant therapy before surgery or radiation to shrink cancer cells or after as adjuvant therapy to kill remaining cancer cells. Combination of chemotherapy drugs could be used for killing more cancer cells and avoid resistance to any one drug.
Preventing And Treating Side-Effects Is Vital Part Of Cancer Treatment
First of all, know that the side-effects of cancer treatment can be cured or alleviated. Treating side-effects has become as much important, and a challenge for doctors, as treating cancer. So be rest assured of a complete turnaround!
Today, scientists and doctors are continually coming up with new drugs and combinations to treat cancer with fewer side-effects and chemotherapies that are tolerable than ever before.
What Side-Effects Could You Expect?
The severity of your cancer, its location, type of drugs (chemotherapy) and dosages, and general health will decide how your body will react to side-effects of cancer treatment. Since cancer cells are active, chemotherapy could also damage active healthy cells in the process which are present in the mouth, digestive system, blood, and hair follicles.
Below are some of the side-effects of chemotherapy
- Hair Loss
- Risk of bruising, bleeding, infection
- Weight and appetite changes
- Intestinal and stomach problems
- Nerve and muscle problems
- Sore mouth, gums, and throat
- Dry and/or discolored skin
Stay Right On Your Emotion!
Having the right emotion is really important to focus on your healing. Anxiety, stress, wasting energy running around before chemotherapy, and over-anticipation can make you more sick. Leave the running around to your family or caretakers. Confront any fears related to the treatment. Be confident.
Relax, Sleep Better!
You’re not the only cancer patient surviving on this planet. Medicine has reached to its advanced development than it was few years ago. If you have the right treatment, don’t worry, you’re in good hands!
Getting a good sleep is significant to your cancer recovery. Go for non-toxic, herbal (valerian, passionflower, kava) and homeopathic sleep aids, or maybe nutritional supplements (5-HTP, magnesium citrate, flax seed oil) if you’re having problems sleeping.
Acupuncture is a proven treatment for anxiety, physical fatigue, post-chemotherapy nausea and vomiting, insomnia, inflammation, pain, and other problems of cancer patients or survivors. There are studies which have reported the viability of acupuncture to treat the side-effects of breast cancer treatment.
Clear Up Gastrointestinal Problems
The sooner you deal with chronic gastrointestinal issues, it would be better for you to keep up with your health during chemotherapy or other cancer treatments. Natural supplements like milk thistle, glutamine, vitamin K, and antioxidants are good buys. You also need to concentrate on increasing fiber, getting whole food diets, building up protein, exercising regularly, and drinking 2-3 liters of fresh water daily.
More Natural Remedies For Chemotherapy Side-Effects
- For mouth sores, gargle with L-Glutamine, or you could also mix the powder with water or juice, or take oral capsules. This will help to repair your mouth and digestive tract lining.
- Traditional Chinese herbal medicines, such as dong quai root, are great to improve bone marrow function and cope up with anemia.
- Treat liver toxicity with ginger root tea, N-acetylcysteine, and alpha lipoic acid.
- Replace fluids and electrolytes in diarrhea with organic vegetables such as kale, spinach, celery, etc. A high quality probiotic will help to restore normal ecology and function.
- Improve cellular energy production or restore loss of energy with high quality multivitamins which will support vital energy micronutrients like CoQ10 (liquid CoQ10 is also available).
- Chinese herbs like ginseng root and cordyceps can boost energy and immune system.