Because there are so many different cancers that exist and millions of people are diagnosed annually with this disease, there are lots of questions surrounding traditional and alternative breast cancer treatment plans. When someone finds a cancerous breast cancer lump, the medical doctor they are working with will likely schedule traditional treatments as a way to manage breast cancer. However, it is important for patients to know they have other options and that alternative treatments for breast cancer do exist.
What Does Traditional Treatment Mean?
When someone hears the words traditional treatment, it is safe to assume that they are referencing the conventional treatments that have been used for breast cancer for decades:
These treatments come with pretty strong chemicals included and the risk of going into surgery because of the breast cancer spreading or having a negative impact on vital signs while a patient is unconscious. These treatments are considered the norm because they have been studied extensively since they were first introduced. Although these are the standard treatment options that patients hear first, they are not the only treatment options available for breast cancer.
What Are Alternative Treatments?
When a breast cancer patient hears the term alternative treatments, this is referring to all the different options that are available that are not the normal, standard treatments that patients get with breast cancer. They can include natural practices and therapies that have been used for hundreds of years. Below are some of the alternative treatments that a breast cancer patient has access to:
- Peptide Treatment
- Nutrition Therapy
- Intratumoral Immunotherapy
- Virtual Reality Meditation Therapy
- Whole Body Hyperthermia
Alternative treatments can also include a variety of new treatment options that may not be as popular as standard options, but they have evidence showing they are growing in success and effectiveness. These alternative treatments can take the place of the standard treatments, or some patients like to utilize both traditional and alternative options.
Major Differences Between Traditional and Alternative Treatments
The biggest differences between traditional and alternative treatments include the following:
- The approach to the treatment
- Chemicals/Products used
The Approach to the Treatment
With a traditional treatment option, the objective is always to eliminate the active cancer cells with radiation therapy or targeted therapy. Unfortunately, this means that the body is sacrificed to undergo significant pain during the traditional treatment. Metastatic breast cancer and invasive breast cancer can increase breast cancer risk, and diagnosing different types of cancer usually requires biopsy of lymph nodes or breast tissue.
The symptoms of nausea, fatigue, and other pain that decreases the quality of life for the patient are secondary concerns when compared to seeking out a cancer care program. This approach alone is one of the reasons why some cancer patients will not move forward with traditional treatment options but may explore alternative treatments such as clinical trials or targeted therapies that focus on different things, such as the mindset, immune system, or managing pain to name a few. While breast cancer needs to be treated and stopped through a breast cancer diagnosis, alternative treatments take a more gentle approach to protect the overall body so there aren’t long-term issues after the cancer is gone.
Western culture can be hesitant to try new things, and not all the alternative treatment options are popular. Traditional treatments have been popular for many decades and have shown results, so it is not always easy to have someone break away from what they know. The popularity of these treatments and the known effectiveness they have had keep them at the top of the list for many cancer patients.
However, more medical providers are starting to see the benefits of alternative treatments, and have even started suggesting some of these treatments to their patients to supplement the medical standard treatments. Because these alternative treatments have gained popularity in other parts of the world, the benefits are being studied and showing how effective they can be for cancer patients.
Probably the biggest difference between traditional treatments and alternative treatments is the type of chemicals that are used to create the medication in the treatment. For example, most of the chemotherapy treatments for early stage breast cancer that patients undergo have a variety of chemicals within the medicine as a way to fight and kill cancer cells.
In alternative treatments, there are not as many chemicals utilized as natural products that are in their natural state, which can be particularly helpful for breast cancer survivors who may benefit from hormonal therapy or other breast cancer treatment options. Even treatments that may look similar to traditional treatments use different drugs that are more gentle on the body and puts the whole body in focus during the treatment – something often discussed when researching various breast cancer centers.
Benefits of Alternative Treatments
Over the last decade, there has been significant growth in the use of alternative treatments, and even nearly 40 percent of cancer survivors hold a belief that there is a real success with alternative treatments. There are some significant benefits to choosing alternative treatments for breast cancer.
- Reducing nausea and vomiting
- Eliminating stress and anxiety
- Pain reduction
- Improving immune system and physical health
- Maintaining positive mental health
- No long-term damage to the body
- Encourages positive lifestyle changes
Reducing Nausea and Vomiting
The most common symptoms that are associated with breast cancer and being treated for breast cancer are nausea and vomiting. A good bit of this is caused by side effects of the standard treatments. Other times, it is caused by the damage the cancer cells are doing to the body as they progress. Being able to manage these side effects allows cancer patients to focus more on healing.
Too much nausea and vomiting over time can force the body to lose nutrients and have an adverse effect on a person’s physical health. They may not be interested in eating or taking in any necessary nutrition because of how it makes them feel.
Eliminating Stress and Anxiety
No matter how severe or mild cancer may be, there is going to be stress and anxiety that comes with the diagnosis. Breast cancer requires patients to change their lifestyle, sometimes uproot them from places they have always been, and go through some stressful treatments. Any time a person gets major news about the unknown, anxiety has the potential to set in and cause some worry and panic.If a loved one recently has been diagnosed, there are many ways to support someone with breast cancer.
Alternative treatments focus on treating cancer in a natural way. These treatments can also reduce stress, anxiety, and prevent physical side effects caused by traditional treatment, by reducing harmful toxins in your body. Treatments like meditation and hypnosis are able to settle the mind and redirect the patient’s focus so they are not spending too much time worrying.
One of the biggest concerns that come with cancer is the pain it causes. Having to go through regular treatments that attack and kill the cancer cells can cause damage to muscles, and tissue and put the patient in insufferable pain. While there is some pain that a person can’t get away from with breast cancer, some of that pain can be managed.
Alternative treatments like acupuncture and massages help reduce the pain that these patients have so that they can continue their fight against breast cancer. These methods can help restore healing in the tissue so that the pain can stop and not remain ongoing.
Improving Immune System and Physical Health
In order to truly beat breast cancer and manage the different types of treatments that patients have to undergo, a strong immune system and good physical health are essential. Unfortunately, the standard treatment options are not always focusing on maintaining good physical health, which can be detrimental later on.
With these alternative treatments of yoga, Tai Chi, and others, the physical body’s condition is taken into consideration. For example, halotherapy utilizes light to treat and improve the function of the lungs. The use of vitamins and minerals daily in the body is also critical for supporting immunity and improving the system overall for these patients.
Maintaining Positive Mental Health
A breast cancer’s mental health can determine how strong they are as they undergo treatments and help them be successful, especially when they have severe cases that require rigorous treatments. In order to maintain clear and positive mental health, it is essential that treatments like cognitive behavior therapy and music therapy are utilized regularly to help keep the mind positive.
Having support from their medical team, family and friends is also a great way to promote success and remain positive even when the news isn’t always happy and the stress of treatment feels like it is too much.
No Long-Term Damage to the Body
Alternative treatments that utilize only natural components will not have the lasting effects on the body that standard treatments can have. Although treatments like chemotherapy will kill cancer with the poison and chemicals that are streaming through the body, the damage done to surrounding tissues, organs, and muscles can bring long-term damage that patients are dealing with long after the cancer is gone.
Encourages Positive Lifestyle Changes
Alternative treatments like nutrition therapy help breast cancer patients take advantage of a lifestyle change that can improve their health, even after they have survived cancer. This therapy teaches patients how to have a diet full of cancer-fighting agents to fight cancer and even reduce its risk of returning later on.
See What Immunity Therapy Center Has Available Today
Now that you have a grasp on the benefits of alternative breast cancer treatments, it is time to schedule a consultation to see which treatment options are right for you or your loved ones who may be suffering. Contact us at Immunity Therapy Center today for more information so that you can get the treatment you need and get back to living your life.
Written By: Dr. Pablo Orozco
Dr. Pablo Orozco is a Board Certified Medical Doctor from Universidad Autónoma de Baja California.
Dr. Orozco has been a treating physician at the Immunity Therapy Center for more than 3 years providing daily on site patient care. He works with patients on a daily basis and guides them through the treatment process. Dr. Orozco’s passion for Alternative Cancer Treatments along with his commitment to patient care is key to insure that our patients have the best experience and results possible.
At Immunity Therapy Center, our goal is to provide objective, updated, and research-based information on all health-related topics. This article is based on scientific research and/or other scientific articles. All information has been fact-checked and reviewed by Dr. Carlos Bautista, a Board Certified Medical Doctor at Immunity Therapy Center. All information published on the site must undergo an extensive review process to ensure accuracy. This article contains trusted sources with all references hyperlinked for the reader's visibility.