A Look At Traditional And Alternative Breast Cancer Treatments

For those diagnosed with breast cancer, the treatment options available to them can seem overwhelming and confusing. While traditional treatments such as surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation are still the standard of care for many patients, more and more people are exploring alternative treatments such as acupuncture, herbal remedies, and dietary changes. So which is right for you? Here's a look at the pros and cons of each type of breast cancer treatment.

Traditional Treatments

Traditional treatments such as surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy have been used for decades to treat various types of cancers. These treatments are highly effective in treating tumors that are localized or if cancer has spread beyond the original site but not to other organs. Surgery is often used to remove tumors, while radiation therapy is used to kill any remaining cancer cells in the body. Chemotherapy is used when there is evidence that cancer cells have spread to other organs in the body.

The major downside to traditional treatments is that they can be invasive and require long periods of recovery time. They can also cause side effects such as fatigue, nausea, hair loss, skin irritation, and organ damage. Additionally, they may not be suitable for all types of cancers or all stages of the disease.

Alternative Treatments

Alternative treatments such as acupuncture, herbal remedies, and dietary changes have gained popularity in recent years due to their non-invasive nature and ability to help reduce side effects caused by traditional treatments. Acupuncture helps stimulate blood flow throughout the body which can help reduce pain caused by tumors as well as inflammation caused by chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Herbal remedies can be taken orally or applied topically, depending on your needs. Dietary changes can help boost your immune system naturally, which can lead to increased energy levels during treatment and a better overall outcome from treatment sessions.

The downside of alternative treatments is that they are not widely accepted by some medical professionals due to a lack of scientific evidence showing their effectiveness in treating certain types of cancers or stages of disease progression. Additionally, some herbal remedies may interact with chemotherapy medications if taken together, so it's important to consult with your doctor before beginning any alternative therapies.

Combining Treatments

While every patient and cancer is different, combining traditional and alternative breast cancer treatments is often the key to success. Communicate with your doctor about your desire to combine two or more methods of treatment. Most doctors are open to adding alternative forms of treatment to your care, even if they do not fully understand how it works.

Ultimately it's up to you and your medical team to decide which type of treatment or combination of treatments will work best for you based on your type, location, and stage of cancer. Research all available information so that you make an informed decision about what's best for your breast cancer treatment. 

For more information about breast cancer care, contact a local doctor.