Complementary Approaches

Many patients would like to find ways that will help them through their treatment, both physically and emotionally. Counselling is one of these. In addition, you could find that relaxation, meditation or visualisation, Reiki, Qigong, acupuncture, healing, hypnosis or other techniques are something you wish to consider. The most important element of your choice will be to check that the practitioner is properly trained and already experienced in working with cancer patients.

There was a time when oncologists were very sceptical and in some cases vehemently opposed to the use of complementary approaches but this is less common now and in fact many oncology departments include access to some complementary support. Both the Macmillan and Cancer Research UK websites have information about complementary approaches on their websites. Yes to Life is an organization dedicated to supporting patients build an integrative treatment plan and the Penny Brohn Cancer Care centre in Bristol is another excellent source of help and information

Some patients would like to forego medical treatment altogether and explore an alternative route. This can provide difficulties for the patient, close relatives and the medical team. Family members may feel very anxious about your decision and exert pressure or express extreme concern as can your medical team. Again, if this is something that you are considering, make sure that you consult reliable sources of information and do your best to continue to maintain a good relationship with your oncologist.