Cancer is one of the deadliest diseases known to humankind. In the year 2018, it reportedly caused around 9.5 million deaths all over the world, and the number has only risen since then. With so many people suffering from different cancers, the modes of therapy available for the treatment of this disease are limited and not very promising. Countless researches have been carried out attempting to study the causes, characteristics, and possible treatment modalities for cancer, but has yielded no absolute results. With such unpredictability and discrepancies regarding cancer treatment in available traditional allopathic medicine, it might be a good idea to look into alternative approaches for treating cancer. While these approaches may not make any certain promises of healing or benefit, there is no harm in trying either. Some of the ways that may help in cancer treatment are highlighted below:
1. Natural Herbs and Spices
Herbs and spices not only add flavor to our food and make it more palatable, but they also have multiple health benefits such as boosting the strength and efficiency of our immune system.(1) In this way, they help in making our body’s natural defenses stronger so that our immune system is better equipped at fighting cancer and other diseases. Some of these include:
· Turmeric and Ginger: these roots are known to be rich in anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and therefore, may be helpful in the prevention of cancer.
· Cayenne pepper and Oregano: these spices are packed with antioxidants and promote the death of cancer cells, thereby limiting their spread and progression.
· Saffron and Garlic: These are among the most powerful naturally occurring ingredients that help to boost our immune system and prevent the growth of tumors.
2. Meditation and Exercise
These activities are universally beneficial and have virtually no downside. Meditation helps to keep one’s mind at peace and focus on positive thoughts. This can help alleviate the stress and
anxiety that often accompanies cancer. Exercise helps to keep oneself active and energized. It may also help in relieving the fatigue and other symptoms that accompany cancer treatment, thereby improving the quality of life.(2)
Acupuncture is a mode of therapy in which a practitioner inserts tiny needles at particular points over the body. It must only be performed under sterile conditions and by a licensed practitioner. Acupuncture can help alleviate nausea associated with chemotherapy and symptoms of pain experienced by cancer patients.(3)
The use of different scents and oils, for example, jasmine, eucalyptus, and lavender-scented oils helps in relieving stress among patients, thus producing a calming sensation that may help with pain and nausea of the cancer patient(3,4).
5. Movement and Relaxation therapy
The movement and relaxation therapy has gained much traction these days in the prevention, treatment and appropriate cure of cancer .These include:
· Tai chi, which is a Chinese art that involves slow movements and taking deep breaths. This helps to calm the self as it unifies the mind, body, and soul.
· Relaxation techniques include progressive muscle relaxation, which eases anxiety.
· Yoga also helps to keep the person stress and fatigue-free and improves the quality of sleep.
· Hypnotherapy makes use of hypnosis to help a person concentrate. This state of deep focus is then utilized in managing stress and pain.
· A good massage, whether gentle or with deep pressure aims to reduce stress and tension developed in muscles of the body, therefore helping with anxiety and fatigue.
· Music therapy involves leading the participant through a variety of activities that may involve listening to music, singing, writing lyrics or playing different instruments, and so forth. This helps with symptoms of nausea and pain as well as depression associated with chronic diseases such as cancer.
2. McTiernan A, Friedenreich CM, Katzmarzyk PT, Powell KE, Macko R, Buchner D, et al. Physical Activity in Cancer Prevention and Survival: A Systematic Review. Med Sci Sports Exerc [Internet]. 2019 Jun [cited 2021 Aug 17];51(6). Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31095082/
4. Gautam N, Mantha AK, Mittal S. Essential Oils and Their Constituents as Anticancer Agents: A Mechanistic View. Biomed Res Int [Internet]. 2014 [cited 2021 Aug 17];2014. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4070586/