Friday, April 27, 2012

Natural Medicine Approach to Treating Mesothelioma

When mesothelioma patients are diagnosed with cancer, they typically are interested in trying any therapy that can potentially extend their prognosis. Even those who are pursuing traditional treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy often look for additional treatments to increase their success rate.

This enthusiastic approach has led many mesothelioma patients to discover natural medicine. Sometimes viewed as “hippy” or “quack” treatments by the medical community, natural therapies have actually played a considerable role in several mesothelioma survivors’ treatment plans.

Most natural therapies are actually based in research and science, just like traditional therapies.

Dietitians spend years studying the body’s specific nutritional needs and learning how to create a plan that delivers cancer-fighting nutrients in the proper quantities. Acupuncturists learn which pressure points in the body cause specific responses in the nerve cells or the brain. Massage therapists manipulate specific muscles that help flush toxins from the body. 

Although patients need to use their best judgment when selecting natural therapies (specifically when presented with any treatment that claims to cure their illness), they can generally enter into these therapies assured that their bodies can reap the benefits. Unlike pharmaceuticals, natural medicines and alternative therapies have few negative side effects, and patients can easily implement them into their regimen after clearing them with their oncologist. 

Natural Medicines for Mesothelioma
For centuries, natural substances such as herbs and vitamins have been used as medicine. Mesothelioma patients may turn to natural medicines that are designed specially to have the most impact on their cancer.

Homeopathy is one of the most common natural medicine-based therapies for mesothelioma patients. This treatment uses heavily diluted natural solutions to trigger the body’s own natural healing processes. Some of the homeopathic solutions that a mesothelioma patient may be prescribed include:

·         Arnica (for cough)
·         Magnesia Muriatica (for poor sleep caused by cancer anxiety)
·         Lachesis (for dyspnea and difficulty breathing)
·         Phosphorus (for appetite loss)

A licensed homeopath can help you understand how these medicines can help impact your symptoms. They can also prescribe additional medications that are more relevant to a specific mesothelioma diagnosis. 

Additionally, basic vitamins, such as vitamin A, vitamin K and beta-carotene may also be prescribed as natural medicines to stimulate the body’s ability to rid the cancer. Many of these supplements are used to boost a cancer patient’s immune system, which in turn makes it more adept at stopping the mesothelioma cells as they develop. 

Nutritionists can also help mesothelioma patients learn how to increase the levels of these vitamins in their body without taking any supplements simply by making dietary adjustments designed to maximize nutrient intake. 

Alternative Therapies for Mesothelioma
Naturopathy often combines natural medicine with other natural therapies. Cancer patients seeing a naturopath may be recommended to try nutritional counseling (including juicing or detoxification), acupuncture, water therapy and sound wave therapy – among other treatments. 

When selecting alternative therapies for a natural treatment plan, naturopaths determine which treatments can best balance the patient’s physical, mental and emotional state. Their ultimate goal is not simply to cure mesothelioma – instead, they work to foster whole-body health in the individual. 

Guest Author Bio: Faith Franz is a writer for the Mesothelioma Center. She combines her interests in whole-body health and medical research to educate the mesothelioma community about the newest developments in cancer care.

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