Examining Complementary & Alternative Cancer Treatments Part 3: Alternative Medical Systems

While the generally accepted treatment for cancer worldwide is through conventional medicine, more and more patients are starting to look for better alternative cancer treatments. Why? Some cannot withstand the pain and suffering that comes with chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery. In some cases, family members cannot bear to see their loved ones confined in depressing hospital rooms, only to be taken away from them in a matter of days, weeks, or months after diagnosis.

Alternative cancer treatments vary in approach, with healing systems and beliefs originating from different cultures in various corners of the globe. Some notable examples of these systems and approaches include:

Ayurvedic Medicine

Also known as Ayurveda, it is an ancient Indian medical system that aims to keep the mind, body, and the forces of nature in perfect harmony with each other and that an imbalance results in illness. Its focus is on changing a patient’s lifestyle, using Ayurvedic medicines, detoxifying the body, and utilizing massages, exercise, and meditation techniques.

Practitioners of these particular system diagnose illness by listening and observing their patients’ nails, lips, and tongue, as well as the body’s “nine doors”, namely the eyes, nose, ears, mouth, genitals, and the anus. They also listen to their patients’ lungs and check the pulse, after which they will listen and analyze the patient’s life and health history.

Whatever observations that practitioners will have will be used to evaluate the patients’ doshas, which means primary life forces. It is said that an individual is usually dominated by one of the three but are nevertheless affected by all three. The dominant dosha reflects a person’s physical, emotional, and spiritual attributes, as well as give practitioners an insight into that person’s daily habits and the kind of lifestyle that he or she has.

Chinese medicine

Chinese medicine is primarily dictated by the belief that a person’s overall health is determined by the balance between two forces called yin and yang. One popular practice that is reported to help balance these forces is acupuncture, which involves inserting needles at certain points of the body to stimulate those areas and promote proper health and healing, minimize symptoms of diseases, and even the treatment of the accompanying effects.

The practice of Chinese herbal medicine is also quite a common alternative treatment for cancer. This involves extracting compounds from plants, herbs, and other natural products. Although there have been quite a few notable success stories, many of these traditional remedies still require scientific evidence.

One known traditional Chinese formula for cancer treatment is called the Yangxheng Xiaoji, which consists of 14 herbs. This has been shown to be quite beneficial to cancer patients, which was later discovered that it works by blocking the pathway where the cancer cells are spreading.

Although there is no certainty with regards to any of these medical systems, it does not hurt for Western medical professionals to take them with a grain of salt. These traditional therapies, when combined with conventional medicine could prove to be more powerful in treating cancer than each of the approaches when done individually. They could also hold the key to developing legitimate alternative cancer treatments.