Are there alternative or complementary therapies?

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Alternative therapies are treatments that are not standard medical treatments, and which might not have been scientifically proven to be effective against cancer. These treatments may be recommended by well-intentioned friends and relatives, or found on the Internet. Some alternative therapies can even be harmful, especially if taken with prescription drugs. Some examples of alternative therapies include high-dose vitamins, herbal products, or extreme diets. It is important that you let your doctor or nurse know if you are considering alternative therapies for cancer.

Complementary therapies complement established medical treatments, improving quality of life and symptoms. These include mindfulness meditation, relaxation techniques, remedial massage therapy, psychotherapy, prayer, yoga, acupressure and acupuncture. If there were any chance that the kidney cancer has spread to bones, chiropractic treatment or osteopathy would not be a good idea.

Macmillan: Alternative therapies

Macmillan: Complementary therapies

Cancer Research UK: Complementary and alternative therapies

Updated: October 2023                                                                                                                      Next review: October 2025

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