A cancer diagnosis can bring about different reactions in different individuals. The news in itself can be extremely overwhelming for the individual. On top of that, the individual then must receive additional information about next steps, best treatment plan, and the inevitable cost of treatment. Researchers across the globe are continuously looking for better ways to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer. Due to advancements in technology, early detection has helped to a great extent to treat the disease at onset, as well as provide support for the individual at different stages of the disease with a more patient-centered and holistic approach.
Simply put, cancer is when abnormal cells divide in an uncontrollable way. A body usually generates new cells through a process called cell division; however, cancer begins when a cell breaks free from the normal restraints on cell division and begins to follow its own agenda for reproduction. These cells grow into a lump or a tumour that can spread and travel through the body through a process called metastasis. Tumors threaten an individual’s life when their growth disrupts the tissues and organs needed for survival.
Treatment for Cancer
The treatment for cancer is broadly categorised in three stages. The primary stage of the treatment deals with taking out or killing off the cancer cells or tumours. This is done either through a surgery that removes the tumour, or they introduce therapies like chemotherapy and radiation to kill off the cells. The second stage is called the adjuvant treatment, which deals with the remainder of cells that are left behind after the primary treatment is administered. The third stage is called the palliative stage, which helps with the side effects of the disease when the cancer has taken over the body a terminal point.
Complementary Therapies for Cancer
If you have been diagnosed with cancer, it is imperative that you consult with your oncologist and medical specialists, at all times, before seeking out other forms of treatment. Your health care team will know what’s best for you and will help you combine other therapies that are right for you.
Some of the many complementary therapies to support and manage the symptoms of cancer and side effects of treatment are:
Acupressure uses pressure to stimulate strategic points of the body to stimulate healing abilities. This can lead to changes in the brain, such as the release of chemicals like serotonin or changes in electrical activity of the body. This helps reduce pain and relieves nausea and discomfort brought on by chemotherapy. It also reduces hot flashes and helps with dry mouth.
- Yoga & Pranayama
Yoga is a form of therapy that involves breathing exercises and stretches that activate and improve flexibility in different muscle sections of the body. This helps reduce stress and connects the mind and body by channelling calmness through them both. Yoga is a therapy that works against many of the side effects that comes with the onset of cancer.
- Massage Therapy
Massage therapy is said to be very helpful in reducing pain for cancer patients. It can calm the muscles and relax the body to help expedite the healing process and there are specific oncology massages that are designed for cancer patients. There are also some simple massage techniques nurses can be trained on to administer to a patient at home.
- Nutrition Therapy
One of the major side effects of cancer is the loss of appetite, which leads to excessive weight loss. Nutritious food intake helps a body heal from the inside out when it is put through such stressful situations. Recovery from cancer consists of healthy eating as a first step in the process. Eating nutritious food aids in providing the body the necessary vitamins, proteins, and minerals it needs to function. Eating a balanced diet helps with maintaining a healthy body weight, while coping with the disease. A trained Oncology Registered Dietitian can support patients with the right kind of foods that can help speed up their healing process and keep them well nourished.
Lootah Santhigiri is a holistic health centre that offers many alternative and complementary therapies that aid in keeping a fit mind and body. We offer therapies that complement and support the management of cancer symptoms and the side effects of cancer treatment. Our diverse range of therapies, derived from ancient cultural and age-old and timeless traditions and practices, have shown to be effective and supportive in addressing the mental and physical well-being of cancer patient.s. Visit our health centre and allow us to curate a treatment plan for any ailment, illness, problems, or issues you are facing in your day to day lives.