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Alternative Treatments For Mesothelioma

As a mesothelioma patient, you have choices about the type of treatment you receive. You may choose the standard cancer treatments recommended by your doctor. Some patients choose alternative or complementary medical treatments.

Alternative and complementary medicine includes a varied group of practices and products that are not generally part of conventional Western medicine, according to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

The safety and effectiveness of many alternative medicine treatments is uncertain because they have not been evaluated in independent, clinical trials. Still, some patients prefer them.

Understanding Alternative Medicine in Context for Mesothelioma Patients 

People diagnosed with mesothelioma are often ready to try anything that they believe will cure their cancer. Some patients consider alternative medicine. Alternative medicine refers to treatments such as immune augmentation therapy that some patients opt to try instead of conventional medical care. Alternative treatments are not part of conventional medical care for mesothelioma patients. These treatments are not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and have not been clinically proven for effectiveness. Some patients travel to clinics in Mexico or the Caribbean islands to receive alternative treatments.

Among the types of alternative treatments that some cancer patients try are:

  • Anti-tumor intravenous therapy
  • Ozone therapy
  • Hyperbaric oxygen therapy
  • Ultraviolet blood irradiation therapy
  • Immune augmentation therapy
  • Autologous immunogen therapy
  • Insulin potentiation therapy
  • Acupuncture

Some types of care may be either alternative medicine or complementary medicine, depending on whether cancer patients use it in addition to conventional treatment or instead of it. Complementary treatments are those used in conjunction with standard medicine such as acupuncture or yoga to ease pain or side effects such as nausea and vomiting. They’re also known as supportive treatments. Some hospitals and medical centers have offices of integrative medicine that provide supportive treatments such as yoga or massage to cancer patients.

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