Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM)
refers to treatments or therapies that are not routinely included in
conventional, Western medicine.
Complementary treatments may be used along with your traditional treatments to
help control lymphoma symptoms. However, they will not cure lymphoma. You
should not postpone conventional treatments to pursue CAM.
There is no solid evidence that alternative
therapies can treat or cure lymphoma. Always talk to your doctor before making
any changes to your treatment plan.
Before you start a CAM treatment, talk to
your doctor. Some CAM options can interfere with traditional treatment.
Therefore, it’s important that your doctor knows what you are using. It’s also
important to choose a CAM practitioner carefully. It may be a good idea to ask
for recommendations from your doctor or hospital.
Several professional organizations certify
CAM practitioners. It’s always a good idea to stick with a certified or
licensed professional, when possible. Certification implies that a practitioner
has received specific training and has met certain acceptable standards for
safe and competent practice. .
License requirements vary by state. CAM
services that are often regulated include:
- massage therapy
CAM therapies should not be used to treat
cancer. However, they may help reduce symptoms. Several commonly used CAM
treatments are described below.
Acupuncture is a type of traditional Chinese
medicine. Small needles are used to stimulate specific areas of the body in
order to realign the energy pathways. Acupuncture has been shown to reduce
vomiting caused by chemotherapy. It may also reduce pain.
A number of CAM techniques have been shown to
reduce stress associated with cancer treatment. These include:
- massage therapy
- tai chi
These therapies may also help with pain.
Ginger is a traditional treatment used for
nausea. It has been proven to help with pregnancy-associated nausea. It may
also help relieve nausea associated with chemotherapy
Ginger may be taken in a variety of ways.
Some people find that it helps to suck on candied ginger. The powered, dried
rhizome is marketed in pill form. Ginger may also be consumed as a beverage.
However, it is possible that ginger might
interfere with other cancer treatment. If you are using it frequently, let your