Many women going through treatment for ovarian cancer have questions about using complementary and alternative therapies. They may be looking for ways to boost the positive effects from their treatments or to elicit their own healing capabilities. Complimentary therapies are in addition to traditional treatment and alternative therapies are in lieu of traditional treatment. Sometimes women feel complementary therapies are a way of giving them more control over what is going on at a disruptive time in their lives. It is recommended that complementary therapies be done in consultation with their oncologist, or cancer specialist.
Much has been written about the cancer patient developing a "positive attitude". This is a particularly loaded phrase and often a person with cancer feels like they have to put on a "brave face" just to help the people around them. For many women, simply the effort needed to focus on their health can make them feel mentally, emotionally and spiritually exhausted.
While you are in the midst of treatment, it can be very difficult to think about the future. There will come a time however when you may want to think about other ways to contribute to your overall wellness. This may mean different things to different people, but generally it encompasses spiritual, physical, and emotional healing.
Complementary therapies and treatments might help you regain a sense of balance and perspective in your life. While many of these treatments have not been scientifically proven to be effective, many feel that they do offer very real psychological and physical benefits for many women with ovarian cancer.
There are many different approaches to wellness. There is no "right" way or method. You are in charge and you are the best person to think about what makes sense for your own individual needs.
Always discuss any alternative therapy with your doctor prior to embarking on a course of treatment.
- Untested therapies may have limited effect on the outcome of the disease, and experimenting with unorthodox or unproven therapies can actually be harmful.
- Untested treatments, incompetent practitioners and suspect clinical methods can be very dangerous.
- Some complementary treatments may indeed relieve stress and improve the quality of life when performed along with conventional medical treatment.
A good source of information about complementary therapies is the Canadian Cancer Society.