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Considering Supplementary Treatments During Chemotherapy and/or Radiation

Whenever your health is at risk, you want every tool at your disposal to take care of yourself. Cancer treatment can be particularly challenging, and many people are talking about adding alternative therapies to their regimens. Could this help or hurt your situation? Here, Lazarex Cancer Foundation explores the possibilities so you can make informed decisions.

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Healing Touch

Therapeutic massage can help cancer patients with anxiety, insomnia, pain, and other side effects of chemotherapy and radiation treatment. It also helps to promote a feeling of well-being, which is important in healing.

Going through the treatment process can also be stressful. Consider learning some stress management strategies such as deep breathing exercises to help keep your stress levels down. This will help you remain calm and focused on recovery.

Proper Nutrition and Exercise

Since nutrition and exercise are part of a healthy lifestyle, you might think there’s no need to discuss these with your doctor. But the needs of the body sometimes change during cancer treatment, so go ahead and have the conversation about what might be best for you.

Gentle forms of exercise, such as tai chi, qi gong, yoga, walking, and even resistance training have been shown to be beneficial during cancer treatment. If your ability to eat regularly is impacted by chemotherapy, working with a nutritionist can help you to discover options for getting the nutrients you need.

Support Groups

A cancer support group can be quite advantageous both during and after treatment. Benefits include increased coping skills, reduced depression, loneliness, and anxiety, and increased awareness of resources that are useful to those fighting cancer.

Homeopathic Remedies

There are many different supplements and natural remedies that have been time tested, but that your doctor may not suggest to you. Working with a neuropathic specialist can be a great way to try out some of these options. Be sure to talk to your doctor about what you are taking, too, in order to ensure that there are no interactions between these natural and your prescribed medications.


Seemingly intractable fatigue, pain, or nausea related to cancer treatment can sometimes be helped by acupuncture treatment. Check with your doctor first, and then your insurance provider to see if they will cover this.

Journaling and Using PDFs

Journaling has been found to have numerous benefits for maintaining good mental health. By regularly engaging in journaling, individuals can gain insight into their thoughts and emotions, while also reducing stress and anxiety. Additionally, journaling can help to improve mood, increase self-awareness, and enhance problem-solving skills. You can pick up a physical journal, type your entries, or even use them to start a blog sharing your experience.

You can also use your journal to keep track of your medical records, notes, and symptoms. In this case, using a PDF can help you to keep your records safe and share them easily. Plus, PDFs can be searched, so you can find particular notes whenever needed. You can use a handy tool in order for you to create a PDF online​ in just a few easy steps.


Developed in the late 1800s, Reiki—universal life energy—is a hands-off method of balancing the body’s energy levels and can aid in the healing process. Combined with other treatments, it can be an effective part of your healing and recovery.


Cannabinoids come in various forms, but they are all derived from, or modeled on compounds that occur naturally in cannabis. There are prescription medications available in the U.S., created with synthetic versions of THC.

Many states have dispensaries that sell medical marijuana.  Cannabis contains hundreds of compounds, and CBD and delta-8 are two (legal ones) that have been isolated, tested, and found to have beneficial effects in reducing nausea, pain, anxiety, and insomnia. So there are various paths you can take if cannabinoids seem like they’d be helpful to you. However, the last thing you want to do is make a choice that will create a setback in your treatment program.

Some studies indicate cannabis can negatively interact with some prescription drugs and cause issues for people with particular chronic health conditions. It’s crucial to talk with your doctor before you add any new supplement or therapy to your health regimen. As well as discussing which cannabinoids might be helpful, be sure to cover what route of ingestion you will use–products can be eaten, applied topically, smoked, taken as pills, and even inserted as suppositories. 

Medical marijuana is an option for many cancer patients, but as The ASCO Post explains, research is limited as to the pros and cons. It appears to help reduce nausea, help lower pain levels, encourage better sleep, and increase appetite, but with only a few clinical trials on the records, evidence is inconclusive. There is hope it could offer further therapeutic benefits, perhaps even inhibiting tumor growth, but with so little research available—not enough is known. Remember that nothing is a cure all, but many things may be helpful.

Widely Available Yet Unknown

Healthline points out that in some regards, CBD oil and delta-8 are in similar situations to medical marijuana. Healthline notes that there are promising health benefits, but more research is still needed before a general conclusion can be drawn. It appears to help with neuropathic pain, nausea, and loss of appetite, and it also seems to help with inflammation and anxiety. It might even help prevent cancer or reduce tumor growth, but again, the evidence is inconclusive.

Seek Guidance for Your Holistic Treatments

Holistic therapies can be wonderful additions to your cancer treatment program. Cancer is a complex issue, and there is rarely one easy answer. Weigh your personal circumstances carefully before you make a decision, and talk with your doctor, no matter how innocuous you feel the additional therapy might be. You want every tool at your disposal in the fight against cancer, and you and your medical team should make the decisions together about what additional therapies will be added to your protocol.

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Lazarex Cancer Foundation helps patients with all types of cancer, of all ages, from all walks of life. Contact us today to learn more! 877-866-9523 or 925-820-4517