Anal Cancer Treatment Alternative. Anal cancer is a painful and difficult condition to have. If you are suffering from this cancer, or are taking care of a loved one afflicted with it, know that that you may resort to many complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) techniques.
The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) defines CAM as a group of different medical and health care systems, practices and products that are not presently considered part of conventional medicine.
Complementary medicine is used together with conventional medicine, while alternative medicine is used in place of conventional medicine. Anal cancer sufferers can use these CAM techniques to lessen the pain and ease the other uncomfortable conditions that come with this cancer.
In turn, CAM can be combined with conventional medicine for an integrative medicine approach. Some of the CAM techniques now being integrated by medical practitioners include those that have been reported to be safe and effective after being studied in patients.
In practice, many CAM therapies used in along with conventional medicine have not yet been well tested—but many of these CAM approaches are used by a large percentage of cancer patients.
Some CAM options are:
For the anxiety that comes with having to deal with a life-threatening and debilitating disease, massage, meditation, hypnosis, music therapy, exercise and relaxation techniques are practiced and are known to be effective. Yoga or relaxation techniques can help with sleep problems.
Fatigue can be alleviated by gentle exercise or tai chi. Nausea can be relieved through acupuncture, hypnosis or music therapy. Acupuncture, massage, music therapy or hypnosis can alleviate the considerable amount of pain that anal cancer patients suffer.
Some of the strict current trials being undertaken by the National Cancer Institute in the US include the following:
• Electroacupuncture to treat delayed chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting in patients diagnosed with pediatric sarcoma, neuroblastoma, nasopharyngeal carcinoma, germ cell tumors, or Hodgkin lymphoma.
• Curcumin for reducing skin reactions caused by radiation therapy in breast cancer patients.
• Acupuncture to prevent dry mouth and improve quality of life in head and neck cancer patients receiving radiation.
• Effect of Tai Chi versus structured exercise on physical fitness and stress reduction in cancer survivors.
• Acupressure for persistent cancer-related fatigue.
Related: Anal Cancer Diagnostic Test