Many people choose to explore treatments from both Eastern and Western medicine to ensure that they are doing everything in their power to nurture both their mind and body.  Sometimes, however, it’s hard to tell which Alternative Treatments are worth considering.  The below suggestions are just that: suggestions.  Make sure to consult your physician before attempting to try any of them to make sure that you are doing what’s best for your health.

Alternative Treatments


The Mayo Clinic has provided excellent care to patients for over twenty years and currently is ranked within the Top 5 Hospitals in the Country for Cancer Treatment according to US News and World Report. It is, however, located in Minnesota which makes it pretty hard to receive treatment there when you live in the Greater Philadelphia Area. Luckily, their website is pretty comprehensive, and they provide a lot of wonderful resources for people who are undergoing cancer treatment. They’ve compiled a list of 11 Alternative Cancer Treatment Options to Consider, which includes:

              1.  Acupuncture
              2.  Aromatherapy
              3. Biofeedback
              4. Exercise
              5. Hypnosis
              6.  Massage Therapy
              7. Meditation
              8. Music Therapy
              9. Relaxation Techniques
              10. Tai Chi
              11. Yoga

 How can alternative medicine help people with cancer?

Alternative cancer treatments won’t play any role in curing your cancer, but they may help you cope with signs and symptoms caused by cancer and cancer treatments. Common signs and symptoms such as anxiety, fatigue, nausea and vomiting, pain, difficulty sleeping, and stress may be lessened by alternative treatments.

Use alternative cancer treatments as a supplement to treatments you receive from your doctor — not as a substitute for medical care. While alternative cancer treatments, such as acupuncture, may reduce nausea or pain, they generally aren’t powerful enough to replace medications from your doctor. Work closely with your doctor to determine the right balance between traditional medicines and alternative cancer treatments.

To read more about the benefits of the above treatments, visit the Mayo Clinic  website.



New Treatment to Help Cancer Survivors with Lymphedema

Philadelphia’s 6ABC ran a special health report  last month about Lymphedema, which happens to some people after surgery for breast cancer or melanoma. They beat cancer, but are left with a painful and life-altering condition.

ABC’s Ali Gorman, RN, spoke with Dr. Suhail Kanchwala, who decided to bring a procedure developed in France to Philadelphia. It’s a transplant, moving lymph nodes from an unaffected area of the body to the area where the lymph nodes were removed.

“Taking them from just underneath the skin and putting them in another area just underneath the skin,” Dr. Kanchwala said.

Watch the full report in the below video: 

New treatment helps swollen limbs for cancer survivors



Finding Poetry In Cancer

A great article from the New York Times highlights the benefits of Poetry Therapy, using Kyle Potvin, a breast cancer survivor, as an example. “The creative process can be really healing,” Ms. Potvin said in an interview. “Loss, mortality and even hopefulness were on my mind, and I found that through writing poetry I was able to express some of those concepts in a way that helped me process what I was thinking.”


Dr. Rafael Campo, an associate professor of medicine at Harvard, says he uses poetry in his practice, offering therapy groups and including poems with the medical forms and educational materials he gives his patients.

“It’s always striking to me how they want to talk about the poems the next time we meet and not the other stuff I give them,” he said. “It’s such a visceral mode of expression. When our bodies betray us in such a profound way, it can be all the more powerful for patients to really use the rhythms of poetry to make sense of what is happening in their bodies.”

Do you have any poetry you’d like to share with us?