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Combining holistic and traditional therapies for advanced stage NSCLC


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I am looking to learn more about holistic treatments that can be combined with traditional chemo and maintenance treatment in patients with Stage IV NSCLC, EGR negative. I have been reading about the benefits of turmeric, frankincense, and maitake mushrooms on different forums and cancer center sites. I was wondering if anyone has any recommendations or knowledge about whether alternative therapies can help with symptom management and cancer regression, and also if anyone knows of negative side effects to be aware of. 




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  • 2 years later...


I have a great deal of info on Alternative Medicine if you need it since I have had immunity issues for some time and do treat using Alt mean.  If still interested please reply and I will give you as much as you want.  

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Hi Liz,

For all 3 of my cancers I used some alternative therapies in addition to conventional treatment. I went to a clinic where I had acupuncture, shiatsu massage,and some herbal and other supplements, also some dietary recommendations, which I followed for a while religiously and then have gotten flaky about. I continue to take some supplements. None of my cancers had much in the way of symptoms, but my treatments certainly did. I found accupuncture helpful for nausea and anxiety. Whether the other stuff helps or not, I don't know, but I don't think it's hurt any. I'm now NED on all 3 cancers. I was fortunate to have here in Portland an alternative medicine clinic that has a subsidized program for people with cancer. It's under the supervision of a Naturopath who knows a lot about cancer and about conventional treatment and who's very comfortable working with conventional medical treatment and providers.  I reviewed my supplements with my oncologists (and surgeon) and also, when I was in chemo, with the infusion center pharmacist. A couple of times, I was advised to suspend taking certain things during chemo, or prior to surgery, which I did.

My suggestions about alternative medicine: See if you can find somone who knows about this stuff (Naturopath? I don't know if they're licensed in all states) rather than try to figure it out yourself. Also someone who will work cooperatively with your conventional oncology providers.  (My naturopath is pretty well known and respecited in the conventional medical community). Then, read up on what is being recommended for you and see if it makes sense to you. Run it by your doctor(s) . If you sense that your doctor is biased against alternative treatments, rather thanreally looking awhatever you want to do,or take you might get a second opinion. I've found that my several doctors are pretty much OK with this stuff when they understand that I'm not looking to replace my conventional treatment with alternative medicine, nor am I askingwhwrher they think this will be effictive, buI that I  just want to know whether something would be harmful or conflict with my conventional treatment. 

So my approach is to try stuff so long as it's unlikely to hurt(and it's not too weird). It might help even if it's not scientifically proven. 

Good luck with this!

Btidget O

Bridget O


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Bridge's suggestions about alternative therapy is spot on.  There are no studies on the effectiveness of alternative therapy and like all professions, a fringe element who are interested in selling junk remedies for a fortune, claiming miracle cure properties.  Here is an essay that points to the miracle cure problem.

Here is a resource showing US States that license naturopathic doctors to practice.  Several Google searches turned up between 16 and 18 states license naturopaths to practice.  Ohio is not one of them.

The big negative effects you should be knowledgable about are two: (i) most insurance does not cover naturopathic medicine or holistic medication or treatment, and (ii) some naturopathic prescribed remedies or holistic remedies may cause adverse interactions with conventional radiation or medical oncology treatments. So be sure to inform your medical team of all drugs or remedies before receiving conventional medical treatments.

Stay the course.


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