In addition to the commonly used treatment options for colon cancer, they are other things that you may do to increase your chance of successful treatment and possibly prevent the cancer from recurring. First and foremost, it is very important that you take excellent care of your body and its health. This may be achieved through adequate sleep, proper nutrition and exercise, increased water consumption, and conscientious adherence to your doctors’ recommendations.
The Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) offers complementary therapies to improve the health and wellness of its patients. For more information about the customized treatment plans offered by CTCA, please see its website at www.cancercenter.com. The supportive therapies provided by CTCA, as well as other treatment centers, include but are not limited to the following therapies.
Acupuncture is a form of Traditional Chinese Medicine that has successfully treated a wide range of ailments and diseases around the world since prehistoric times. The treatment focuses on the energy flow through the body and meridians, often referred to as “chi,” and stimulates the flow of chi by applying sterile, fine needles into specific points on the body.1 Blockages or imbalance in energy flow is linked to pain and illness. Acupuncture treatments revive the immune system by encouraging and supporting free energy flow.
Acupuncture may be used with traditional cancer treatment concurrently and is a drug and chemical-free way to improve health and well being. The side effects of cancer treatments may be reduced or improved by acupuncture.
Chiropractic is a widely used and respected form of medicine designed to identify, treat and prevent musculoskeletal health problems.2sup>Musculoskeletal problems are thought to affect the nervous system and total health. Chiropractic care is said to improve quality of life, support well being, reduce stress, and improve body functioning through many techniques from adjustment to massage.
Chiropractic care may be helpful for individuals undergoing cancer treatment. This supplemental treatment may reduce or eliminate the side effects associated with treatment. Specifically, chiropractic may aid in the management and elimination of pain, nausea, numbness, and other issues.
CTCA also provides image enhancement services to its patients. The goal of these programs is to help patients determine how to feel and look better, reduce stress, and improve quality of life.3 These services may include plastic and cosmetic surgery and cosmetic image enhancement.
Side effects of cancer treatment and cancer itself may affect appearance. Patients may experience hair loss, and changes in their hair, skin, and bodies. If you or someone you know is battling image problems associated with cancer treatment, contact the CTCA or other local programs.
Recent advances in medicine have led to the development of mind-body medicine.4 This type of medicine is a form of Psychoneuroimmunology (PI) and examines the interrelated nature of the mind, emotions, body and immune system. PI focuses on the influence the mind and emotions have on the body and the influence the body has on the mind and emotions.
PI offers a holistic way for cancer patients to improve mental, physical, and spiritual health during this difficult time. PI specialists may help patients through drug and chemical-free techniques such as deep breathing, meditation and yoga, guided imagery, and relaxation therapies.
Naturopathic medicine promotes bodily and environmental health naturally.5 This holistic approach to medicine is defined as an art, science, and philosophy. This form of medicine works by administering non-toxic therapies to promote self healing and focuses on whole body health and illness prevention.
Naturopathic medicine may help cancer patients by improving the condition and health of their bodies. Treatments may be used to support normal physiological functioning, reduce the side effects of treatment, enhance the immune system, and prevent polyp recurrence.
Nutrition therapy provides nutritional support and advice. It may involve meal planning, vitamin and mineral supplementation, nutritional support and education.6 Nutrition has been linked to both cancer prevention, cancer formation; supporting the notion that we are what we eat. The effects of proper nutrition are numerous and may include improved immune function, healthy weight, tissue and cell restoration, improved energy and quality of life, accelerated treatment and recovery, and a decreased risk of infection.
The vitamins and supplements that have been found to aid in cancer treatment include:
- Beta carotene
- Vitamins C and E
- Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)7
- Calcium Carbonate8
Oncology rehabilitation involves restoring strength and wellness after injury, disease, and treatment. The commonly used rehabilitation techniques include physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech-language pathology and manual and massage therapy.10 Please see the CTCA website for more information or consult your health care provider.
Pain management aims to decrease or alleviate pain. Cancer treatment frequently results in pain that can be severe at times. Pain management programs may reduce or eliminate pain through pain education, behavioral techniques, psychological treatment, and other techniques.11 If you or someone you know is suffering from pain associated with cancer and treatment, research the pain management programs in your community.
Another useful therapy to support cancer treatment is spiritual support.12 Cancer diagnosis and treatment often highlight the need and use of spirituality. Spirituality does not necessarily involve religion, thus may be helpful for people of all faiths. Recent studies have found a link between spiritual health and physical health. The effects of spirituality and spiritual support are numerous, particularly for individuals experiencing crisis.
Cancer survivors often experience chronic health problems after treatment. Survivorship support programs are designed to educate survivors about and aid in the improvement of health problems associated with cancer treatment. For more information, please consult your health care professional or a reputable cancer treatment center.
1. Cancer Treatment Centers of America, “Acupuncture.”