Integrative Medicine & Complementary and Alternative Therapies as Part of Blood Cancer Care
Making informed decisions that are right for you is important for all aspects of your cancer treatment. This fact sheet provides an overview of how complimentary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapies are being incorporated into comprehensive treatment plans, a discussion of the major categories of CAM therapies, tips for talking with your healthcare team and additional resources.
When used in addition to other standard cancer treatments, certain CAM therapies can play an important role in enhancing the quality of a person's overall care and peace of mind. Some studies have shown that using CAM therapies can help patients to better manage disease and treatment side effects. CAM users often say they feel less limited or defined by their cancer when using CAM in addition to conventional treatments. Many of these therapies are gentle, relaxing and minimally invasive and provide ways for patients to develop an appreciation of themselves and an awareness of their inner strength. Some techniques are "passive," requiring limited participation (for example, massage and Reiki), while others are "active" (yoga, tai chi, support groups).