• Has anyone opted out of chemo/radiation after surgery and used alternative therapy instead?

    Asked by krugs on Thursday, September 6, 2012

    Has anyone opted out of chemo/radiation after surgery and used alternative therapy instead?

    I had a complete hysterectomy and cancer was contained in the uterus. No cancer in lymph nodes. It was rated grade 3 but they are giving me the option of doing nothing, radiation only or chemo/radiation. I'd rather not do chemo and at the moment am taking natural remedies to build up my immune system.

    11 Answers from the Community

    11 answers
    • GregP_WN's Avatar

      Just my opinion, I don't believe in fooling with all the snake oils that are out there. If they would cure cancer, or keep us from getting it, that's what chemo would be, drink a glass of blueberry juice and take this powder. I'm sure some of those things will help as a vitamin. but if I get cancer for the 4th time, I will gladly take the radiation, chemo, or both.

      Lot's of people believe in them, that's fine. But reality is what it is.

      Hope you do well in your recovery, and welcome to the site. Lot's of good people here with lot's of answers

      about 4 years ago
    • nancyjac's Avatar

      There are no natural remedies for cancer. Many people with healthy immune systems get cancer.

      about 4 years ago
    • Beaner54's Avatar

      I am surprised that Stage 3 cancer doesn't require chemo or radiation?
      Also surprised to hear you have no lymph node involvement. I thought that was how Stage 3 was defined ?

      about 4 years ago
    • nancibee's Avatar

      Alternative therapies were never an option I considered. I was diagnosed with 1B UPSC endometrial cancer with positive LVI. This is an aggressive form of cancer with a high rate of recurrence so I took the aggressive approach of chemo and will also have radiation.

      The anticipation of side effects was worse than the side effects of chemo, themselves. Chemo is not debilitating. I do not experience nausea and don't even take the anti-nausea medications following my chemo. I hike 12-16 miles the day after treatment. I have hair loss and have gained about 10 lb. The weight gain is probably more due to my feeling like I deserve to eat ice cream and fattening foods than to any of the chemo steroids.

      I would not run the risk of delaying life-saving treatment as a first action. Here is the write-up from my health care provider regarding alternative therapies.

      Alternative therapies

      Some people turn to alternative treatments in addition to, or instead of, conventional cancer treatments like chemotherapy or radiation.
      If you're considering alternative therapies for cancer, discuss them with your doctor, as they may interact with other cancer treatments.
      Here are some reliable sources of information and research on alternative therapies:
      National Cancer Institute http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/cam/thinking-about-CAM
      National Center for Complementary & Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) http://nccam.nih.gov/health/cancer

      Mind-body approaches
      If you have cancer, guided meditation can be used to help you manage treatment side effects and decrease pain, anxiety, and stress. Meditating may also help strengthen the body's own natural disease-fighting defenses.
      Listen to guided imagery programs on your own. Or attend classes and support groups at our medical centers or in your community.

      Blending conventional and alternative care

      Some people choose alternative care over conventional doctors and nurses, avoiding conventional care entirely. But that can mean missing important — or even lifesaving — diagnoses and treatment.
      Complementary care
      We strongly recommend using alternative and conventional methods together, rather than using alternative treatments alone. This combination of therapies is often called "complementary" care.
      The words "complementary" and "alternative" are sometimes used together to describe nontraditional therapies or treatments. But there are some key differences between them.
      Alternative care is used in place of conventional medicine.
      Complementary care is used along with conventional medicine.
      When you use complementary care, you may see your doctor and use nontraditional therapies to treat the same condition. Examples of complementary care may include:
      using guided imagery to help with recovery after surgery
      combining acupressure and medication to relieve migraines
      drinking ginger tea to reduce nausea during chemotherapy
      Be sure to let your doctor know about any alternative therapies or treatments you are using. Some may interact with your traditional medical treatments.

      about 4 years ago
    • Clyde's Avatar

      I've been given almost the same choice by my ON. Observation, a clinical trial for Yervoy for non-mestastised melanoma or Interferon. He is pushing the trial but I can't find anyone who has any experience with it (or even heard of it) for non-mestastised, just those who had mestastised and very few who have that experience. All my visible cancer is gone as well (initial tumor and one node, scan clear) so its tempting to go the observation route, but before I do that, I'm going to research every other possibility..

      I also can't find any statistics for people who have chosen observation only. And please don't just answer that they are all dead, there must be someone following those numbers even if that is true.

      I'm not interested in the snake oil approach either. Best way to prepare yourself is to be healthy in the first place (which didn't stop me getting melanoma, but I'm sure it helped keep it in check), but shutting the door after the horse has bolted........it can't hurt to get healthier, but it won't turn the clock back. And some of those alternative programs may do more damage than good so be careful. Good luck and thanks for asking the question.

      about 4 years ago
    • Onoi11's Avatar

      As a complementary treatment to chemotherapy, I think taking deep breaths and putting my nose inside a blooming rose or bed of mint or my rosemary bushes is beneficial. Connecting with Nature helps me to move outside the realm of plastic tubes, vials, bags and medical equipment. It's like going Home.

      about 4 years ago
    • 3XSurvivorGal's Avatar

      I have/"had" grade 3, stage 1-A endometrial cancer and was offered the same options but was persuaded to go the full route because of the potential aggressiveness of clear cell. I was already doing the immune system thing in prep for surgery.This was not any easy decision by any means. I prayed, talked, listened and read a lot. Read a great book, "Life Over Cancer" by Keith Block, MD. My Gyn-Onc approved the herbal suggestions for use during chemo. I chose to work w a natural/TCM practitioner who would only treat w physician's approval. In reference to your situation, even though I started chemo I elected to opt out after a severe allergic reaction to taxol during my 2nd treatment. They offered a different drug but my family & I said "No way!" Originally I would have had internal radiation only, but since I wasn't doing any chemo doctors strongly advised doing the 25 external pelvic treatments. I am mid treatment. Now my concerns are the dietary changes necessary because of intestinal side effects. Figures! I just got used to eating super-healthy and now need to stop fresh fruits & veggies, nuts, seeds and whole grains. At least I can still take the prescribed supplements which have been adjusted for radiation benefit. Am also doing Qigong and Guo Lin Walking Qigong. What ever you decide, Goodwill 11, get all the support you can to continue building up your immune systerm. I surely hope your doctor will go along with that. My docs just don't approve of mega doses of vitamins and antioxidants but those that I chose to use are OK. I am fortunate to have medical, spiritual and psychological support people that believe in integrative medicine. Western and Eastern medicine together are powerful. My prayers and good wishes are with you Goodwill 11. I am certainly hoping and praying that I am OK w/out the chemo. Have you seen "Forks Over Knives" (Netflix)?

      about 4 years ago
    • debrajo9's Avatar

      As a friend of my with cancer said"Do you REALLY think hot stones, colored chrystals, closed/open Chaukas are going to cure cancer?' Do it if you want as an adjuvant treatment, but go with the chemo and radiation. I have UPSC uterine cancer, had the taxol/carboplatin and internal radiation. I am 28 months out of treatment. I agree with drummerboy! debra

      about 4 years ago
    • Rosa's Avatar

      My mother in law had her thyroid removed almost 10 years ago. After one chemo she refused any more. She did over 40 doses of radiation. She is doing great.
      I asked my oncologist about natural remedies for my colorectal cancer. She told me I could take all I wanted "before and after treatment". I finished my treatment on June 2012 and am taking 3 different antioxidant pills every day. Will have my next visit on November and hope that everything is fine.
      Good luck and God bless.

      about 4 years ago
    • yogadogbliss' Avatar

      My endometrial cancer was stage II just because of the type of cell. My oncologist took uterus, fallopian tubes, omentum and lymph glands in the groin. Radiation and chemo were options. I chose no chemo or radiation but 3 monthly checks, then 4, then 6 until now I have reached the 5 year mark so I can go to yearly checks. I have seen two people personally suffer the side effects or chemo and radiation and this strongly affected my choice. I am talking long term side effects leading to eventual death. I do not mean the terrible suffering you go through during treatment.

      over 2 years ago
    • yogadogbliss' Avatar

      Forget to say ovaries were taken also. Also the cancer was confined to the uterus as testing tissue showed after surgery. They would have just taken uterus if it was a less aggressive type.

      over 2 years ago

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