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Orthodox, complementary and alternative cancer treatments

Integrated cancer treatment programmes ´increase survival times and can even prevent a cancer returning´.

Welcome. You have reached the UK´s number 1 integrated, integrative, holistic cancer treatment website. Complementary and Integrative Medicine is the future of cancer treatment.

We want to help you take some control 

For many people with cancer, the issue is getting as much relevant information as fast as possible. But where do you start? Many trawl the web looking for the latest information, not just on drugs, but on ´treatments´ they can use to help themselves - like diet, exercise and other complementary therapies. The truth is that today´s cancer patient knows there are things they can do to improve their chances of survival. They want to increase their knowledge so that they can make more-informed decisions and better personal choices. They want to create their own personal ´treatment´ package around their doctor´s recommendations. Two out of three cancer patients use a complementary therapy and the same number take supplements.

If this is you, then this is your website.  



We want to help you increase your personal odds of survival

In 2012 the American Cancer Society produced a report stating that since 2006 there has been an ´explosion´ in research into complementary therapies.

Importantly, the report (now endorsed by top American cancer organisation, the National Cancer Institute) went on to make an incredibly important point: The report stated that there was ´overwhelming evidence´ that diet, exercise and weight control could INCREASE SURVIVAL, and even KEEP YOU CANCER-FREE.

We think you should know this. We´ve been telling patients this for 10 years. But then, we have covered the research - For example, in 2009 The Block Center for Integrative Medicine covered research showing that women with metastatic cancer who used Complementary and Integrative Cancer Treatment Programmes survived twice as long as those who didn´t. 

The CANCERactive website is different. It´s a magazine on the web. Why? Because all the articles on this website have appeared in icon (Integrated Cancer and Oncology News), our unique magazine that is available free in over 640 hospitals and cancer centres in the UK. Over 150 oncologists and doctors have aired their views in icon. The major UK cancer hospitals all request copies.

We also have a Medical Board including not just doctors and oncologists, but also experts in nutrition, diet, exercise like yoga and T´ai Chi and other complementary therapies including stress management and Chinese Medicine. Plus on this website you will find articles and interviews with top oncologists exploring alternative cancer treatments like dendritic cell therapy, ablatherm (HiFu) and virotherapy.

We want to empower you

And so we cover more subjects, and in an easy-to-read style: 

1. Orthodox Medical Treatments: At CANCERactive, of course we cover all the latest drugs, the latest advances in radiotherapy and surgery.

But we dont stop there. We want to enable you to make more informed, personal choices about what goes in to your individual treatment programme.

So we also give you comprehensive research information on:

2. Complementary therapies, from acupuncture to hands-on-healing, and from a healthy cancer diet to stress management. Therapies you can use to build yourself a Complementary and Integrative Cancer Treatment Programme around your Doctor´s more orthodox medicine. 

Integrative cancer centers in America build their programmes including Diet, exercise, weight control, supplements and stress management therapies.

Consider this - in 2012, researchers from the NCI reported research on cancer stem cells (which seem to be at the core of tumours) and they showed that certain foods encouraged their growth, whilst other foods stopped them re-growing. You will find the research in Cancer Watch - including the natural compounds they recommended.


3. ´Alternative´ cancer treatments. We cover about twelve of the most important ´alternative cancer therapies´ that patients consistently ask us about. The Internet is a difficult place for a cancer patient. Cancer websites will either ignore alternative therapies, or applaud them. Neither route is particularly helpful. You need to know what these treatments are supposed to do, and then be told clearly whether - or not - there is research to support them.

We also make it clear if these therapies are controversial, or if they are on their way to being established as mainstream medicine; ´tomorrow´s treatments today´. Often we have articles featuring some of Britain or America´s top oncologists talking about them. Like HIFU, Dendritic Cell Therapy, Virotherapy, PDT, the Cyberknife, Brachytherapy, fasting and cancer, Hyperbaric Oxygen, the Ketogenic diet and more!

We feel it is important you have objective and balanced information that you can trust, without hidden agendas or vested interests. And we do our level best to deliver this.

Research and evidence led

Let´s be clear. CANCERactive features research every month from around the world in Cancer Watch. Our Medical Board includes doctors and oncology experts plus specialists on various complementary therapies. Many articles are written by oncologists from the UK and abroad, or are interviews with them. Our reviews are all research-based, often including the research references (where they don´t get in the way of easy reading!) Many references can be found in Cancer Watch anyway.

We communicate with patients and cancer centres continuously. For example, in 2011/2 The Royal Marsden requested our help to publicise a clinical trial; the same centre of excellence has just taken a record number of icon magazines, as do oncologists at Christie´s, Addenbrook´s and most of the London cancer centres. When we need an article on complementary therapies we compile it from research or we go to an expert source like Penny Brohn, or The Haven. If the article is about an alternative cancer treatment we go to the Karolinska, Duke´s in Carolina, UCH in London; in other words, we go to the experts working on it.

Frankly, the people who say that all complementary and alternative therapies have no research to support them, or that they are dangerous quackery are talking ignorant nonsense. Sadly, these people do exist, and their presence and criticism just comes between cancer patients and increasing survival times!

Worse still, they are simply out of date: In America some 37% of hospitals have ´treating mind body and soul´ in their mission statements; the National Cancer Institute has over 35 pages on ´Energy Therapies´, UCLA have conducted many studies on Stress Management concluding that it improves survival times significantly; and Cancer Centers like MD Anderson in Texas focus on Complementary and Integrative Medicine as the best treatment methodology.


Of all the major UK cancer charities, we are almost alone in informing you that you really can increase your personal odds of beating cancer by building yourself a multi-layered set of complementary therapies around your doctor´s orthodox treatments. It is called Integrative Medicine.

An Integrative Cancer Treatment Programme (often in the UK called an Integrated, or Holistic, Programme) may, for example, use stress management techniques, diet, an exercise therapy, supplements and so on, tailored to your personal circumstances.

Top US oncologist, Dr Henry Friedman, calls it ENLIGHTENED MEDICINE

Experience tells us that there are eight possible areas in which to choose complementary therapies in order to be thorough and disciplined. And so we developed our unique cancer support plan -The ACTIVE8 Programme - to help you plan your own individual route forward. (CLICK HERE to go to the ACTIVE8 PROGRAMME).

Please be clear: We do not treat, we do not advise. We merely provide the relevant information, laid out in front of you so you can make more informed choices. What you do with that information is your choice.  

We simply want you to cease being an average patient and, instead, to increase your personal odds of beating cancer well above the norm. 

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Starting to build your integrative cancer treatment programme

You might start by reading the 4 Pillars of Cancer so you can understand the broad strokes of what can cause cancer and take some action to cut various risky things out of your life.

You may want to try a few complementary therapies, or to change your diet. You may even want build yourself a full Complementary programme around your Doctor?s prescribed treatment. But where do you start? Try the page entitled "Building an integrated treatment programme -Your first 15 steps".  It is supported by an easy-to-read book.

Information with no vested interests - information you can trust

Looking at the items on the left of your screen:

Orthodox medicine tends to focus on surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy.

Some, more enlightened oncologists, may even suggest supplements like vitamin D or Astragalus. You may also be encouraged to have acupuncture or recommended to use Ultrasound instead of surgery. You will find everything here from the latest information on over 110 cancer drugs, to advances in radiotherapy!

Occasionally, some Doctors explanations can be a little complicated at times - patients call it Doctorspeak so we have even included a kiddies guide to what it all means. In fact, this whole section tries to make each area of orthodox medicine easy to understand. There are plenty of other charities you can turn to for more detailed - and often more complicated - information.

To help you look for ways you can start to help yourself, we have the UK´s most comprehensive knowledge bank on Complementary and Integrative therapies. We see ourselves as the UK experts in this field.

This section includes complementary therapies, many with clinical trial research evidence, that patients find really helpful - like Tai Chi, meditation, acupuncture, hands on healing, lymphatic drainage; it includes dietary advice and supplements for people on chemotherapy.

Then we include ´Alternative´ Cancer Therapies. Here the truth is that the lines are blurring. Is a diet therapy an ´alternative´ or is it complementary because others use it simultaneously with orthodox medicine? We have just recently tried to separate those complementary therapies known to help in building an Integrative Treatment Programme, from newer and ´alternative´ cancer therapies.

This section includes alternative treatments such as VirotherapyDendritic Cell Vaccines, localised Hyperthermia (also called Ablation, HIFU, Ablatherm) which already has clinical trials for prostate and breast cancer; and Photo-Dynamic Therapy which former cancer Tsar Professor Mike Richards was putting NHS focus on. Then there are ´treatments´ such as brachytherapy for breast cancer, Intravenous Vitamin C, The Gerson Therapy, the Cyberknife,  antineoplastons, which have no such clinical trials to support their use. Frankly some are extremely controversial, some are definitely not worthy of consideration, some are used in Hospitals and clinics in America and Europe today  - and yes, even in the UK.

Patients ask us about all sorts of things they have heard of, like graviola, or zeolite or Metabolic B-17 Therapy. We are quite clear: The fact is that none of these is a cancer cure - but then nor is Herceptin or Tamoxifen. Some things may help some people on their individual cancer. But, be clear, at CANCERactive we do not believe any single cancer treatment is, today, a cancer ´cure´. 

But we genuinely do believe that

        * the way forward for people touched by cancer is building a thorough, tailored, integrated programme of therapies around your doctor´s recommendations, to increase your personal odds of survival, and even prevent a cancer returning, and,

        * ´even today, most cancer is curable and, if not curable, can at least be held at bay´ (Henry Friedman, Duke Cancer Center, Carolina

More Informed, Personal Decisions

It is not our job to give advice. We provide information - all the information, so you can make more informed choices, better choices, about your own health and well-being. We do our research thoroughly, we have orthodox and complementary experts helping and writing and that is why you will find more on this website than on others. We firmly believe that building an complementary and integrative treatment programme can increase your survival times and even prevent a cancer returning, as the American Cancer Society report stated. 

We understand it is controversial but we will not just ´dismiss´ an alternative therapy and ignore it. That is really unhelpful to people touched by cancer who want a balanced view and search the internet which simply reveals extremes often the result of vested interest. We aim to report accurately on what we find, warts and all. You have a right to know.

Recent research showed that people with cancer like to use the web because it empowers them and puts them back in charge of their cancer. This ´treatment´ section aims to do just that. Self empowerment; giving you your options, making more informed personal choices.

Go to the ´Please Select´ box above, and click on it. A world of treatments will then become available to you. You´ll also find reports on help centres, other charities in the UK, even treatment centres in other parts of the world. You´ll also find information on Support Groups. (If you are part of one, please let us know and we could put it on this site).

Finally, you could visit our new ´sister´ website, the CANCERactive Patient Group. There we offer the ultimate worldwide support group where you can ask a question, start a discussion, post your story, start a regular blog and so on. This is a cancer chat room, run by patients, for patients and you are free to discuss any cancer subject and any treatment, however controversial.

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