In our earlier post, we looked at some of the reasons why a lot of mainstream medical practitioners frown on using alternative and complementary therapies for cancer.
Now however let us consider all the reasons why patients, integrative medicine practitioners and even some mainstream doctors choose CAM therapies – why as many as 83% of those with cancer use at least one complementary and alternative medicine.
- Patients choose to take control and be in charge of their health and to participate in the decisions relating to their treatment.
- Patients want to feel empowered about decisions relating to their own health.
- They want that not only physical symptoms, but also other psychological ones be addressed when treating their cancer – therapies aimed at calming anxiety and stress, enhancing peace of mind, and getting support for their condition are factors that many cancer patients consider to be as important.
- Patients refuse therapies that base themselves on the concept of “War on Cancer”. This approach will target the cancer cells or the tumor; but tends to ignore the person as a whole and their interaction with their environment.
- Those suffering from cancer tend to choose a more comprehensive and inclusive range of therapies, drawing upon different traditions and points of view.
- They want that the therapeutic approach take be customized rather than use a generic approach that applies the same medicine to everyone regardless of genetics, personal risk factors and physiology.
- Cancer patients tend to look for non-toxic therapies that are safe and do not cause debilitating side effects that are harmful in the long term as well – surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, hormonal treatment and similar can cause toxic side effects.
They want to get the best possible treatment, using whatever means available and to improve overall quality of life that has been compromised by their disease.