Complementary and Integrative Cancer Therapies

Complementary and Integrative Cancer Therapies

Increasing your personal odds of survival

Welcome to the UKs Number 1 Charity for Complementary Cancer Therapies!

A complementary cancer therapy should do exactly what it says on the tin: Be a complement to the cancer treatments provided by your oncologist. Using the best complementary therapies along with the best orthodox treatments is the foundation of Complementary and Integrative Medicine, or CIM, now advocated by leading cancer centers in America.

Research clearly shows that:

        * Some complementary cancer therapies increase survival. For example, the American Cancer Society issued a report in May 2012 talking about an explosion in research since 2006, with over 100 studies confirming that complementary therapies like diet, weight control and exercise resulted in increased survival times and even stopped the cancer returning. 

        * Some complementary cancer therapies can increase the performance of orthodox medical treatments like certain chemotherapy drugs or radiotherapy. Cancer centres like MD Anderson have studied how certain vitamins and herbs improved orthodox treatments. There is also research on the benefits of calorie restriction on improving success rates of orthodox therapies.

        * Some complementary therapies can greatly reduce side-effects; for example reducing the swelling resulting from surgery (lymphodoema), or the damage caused by radiotherapy (Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy) and so on.

To see the list of complementary treatments go to the box Please Select directly above this article - click and the list will drop down.

Enlightened Medicine

We are not alone in our view. An interview with top US oncologist Dr Henry Friedman found that he encourages his patients to build their own treatment programmes around his orthodox medicine. He calls it enlightened medicine.

Sadly, some people in the UK are not so enlightened. You will read that a few, often vocal, critics believe that complementary therapies - indeed, all complementary therapies - are without research. Not evidence-based is their claim; their mantra. One skeptic even stated that complementary therapies .... are quackery! These people are blatantly WRONG, and misleading and dangerous to your health.

Read Cancer Watch and you will see what US Cancer Centres like MD Anderson, Harvard Medical School, UCLA, and Duke University Medical School believe, from their own research studies, can help in the fight against cancer. Only recently Oxford University and the Radcliffe Hospital were talking from their research studies about the benefits of 75 mgs of daily aspirin being so strong in terms of prevention, reduced metastasis and increased survival they were asking NICE to include aspirin as an essential part of cancer treatment.

Complementary therapies are becoming the new norm

Over 70 per cent of cancer patients reading icon magazine use a complementary therapy. Approximately 50 per cent take nutritional supplements and use an average of three complementary therapies a month. Once you start combining complementary therapies with your orthodox treatment you are building an holistic or integrative cancer programme. Some cancer experts will point to research that shows an increased survival time of 50 per cent from just one therapy. Now imagine the potential benefits of combining a number of such therapies into your own personal programme.

We can tell you more about how to go about building just such a complementary and integrative cancer programme, taking the best of the best,  with our easy to follow, unique ACTIVE8 Programme. (Click the name to go to the page). It is a cancer support plan which explains exactly which areas need to be included in a thorough programme and how to ensure you do not miss out any important areas.


Complementary cancer therapies can take many forms: For simplicity, I will put them in three areas:

1) Energetic complementary cancer therapies:

In complementary and integrative medicine it would seem no term is perfect, but under energetic, or energy therapies, I will include everything from relaxing therapies like massage to more energy-balancing therapies like acupuncture. Some may be spiritually uplifting, like hands on healing; or they may be exercise-based and oxygenating like swimming or yoga. Many such complementary therapies can provide more than one benefit. Yoga may improve oxygenation of the blood and help move your lymph to remove toxins, but it can also reduce cortisol (the stress hormone) which increases bad localised hormones called eicosanoids, known to increase cellular inflammation, the precursor to cancer and metastases.  UCLA have shown that reducing stress hormone levels in cancer patients significantly improves survival times. If you click here, you will be taken to our A to Z guide on the most popular complementary therapies available.

Research evidence? In our research centre Cancer Watch you will find top quality research studies - including clinical trials - on the benefits of yoga and exercise for breast cancer survival times, on meditation as a way of restricting blood loss during surgery and for acupuncture in terms of pain relief. There are a host of other expert research studies.

2) Diet-based complementary cancer therapies:

Many cancer patients want to change their diet and build a cancer diet. But where do you start? How do you know it is doing you any good? Maybe just doing a bit of this, and a bit of that is a complete waste of time! You may change your eating patterns, you may take vitamins and minerals, you may take natural compounds all of which can improve your cancer nutrition plan. A lot of cancer patients now take herbal cancer treatments, to boost their immune system.

You can find all the detail and research on the foods, natural compounds and herbs people use in our Vitamins, Natural Compounds and cancer section of our web site.

You can read articles like A diet for chemotherapy on this site and about Natural Compounds from vitamin D to melatonin, medicinal mushrooms to green tea, and garlic to misletoe that have all been shown to increase cancer patient survival in expert research. There are many more examples on this site.

Then we cover the importance of weight control to increasing survival times, and this includes articles on exercise and calorie restriction.

3) Newly discovered complementary therapies

There is clearly a very fuzzy line between complementary therapies and alternative therapies.

Research is now showing that Calorie Restriction, Ketogenic diets and Hyperbaric Oxygen therapy can make orthodox treatments like chemotherapy and radiotherapy more successful. Some people claim they are alternative therapies but there is little research to support that view.

Then there are non-invasive treatments like Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) and localised Hyperthermia (Ablatherm, HIFU etc) that you can use with orthodox treatments or instead of. There is a good body of research supporting localised hyperthermia developing, but still little on PDT.         

Next, are particular Diet Therapies (like those from Dr Gonzalez, or Plaskett or Gerson). Many people consider them alternative treatments, some people use them as complementary therapies. There is some research on Gonzalez treatment regime but, frankly, nothing of substance behind Gerson.

Finally, there are treatments used in hospitals and clinics. They can be divided into two parts:

        a) There are new Treatments like virotherapy, dendritic cell therapy, cyberknife, brachytherapy. None has a phase III clinical trial to support them, but that doesnt stop hospitals using them (sometimes controversially as in the caee of brachytherapy and breast cancer).

        b) There are old chestnuts like Burzynski and antineoplastons, Intravenous Vitamin C, Laetrile and more. We dont pull our punches on these sort of alternatives!

So, we have tried to put complementary and integrative cancer therapies in that section, and alternative cancer treatments in a different section, but it wasnt easy!

Building an holistic programme so you can increase your personal odds of beating cancer is the goal. Whichever heading you find it under!

And youll find more here at CANCERactive than on any other UK cancer website.

Thats a fact.

Find your Complementary therapy by Clicking Here

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