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Some people with the disease find that alternative treatments for lung cancer relieve stress or minimize side effects and symptoms. Types of alternative treatment include acupuncture, massage therapy, and nutritional supplements. These options should never be used in place of medical treatment for lung cancer. If you're considering trying any of these alternatives, you should discuss it first with your healthcare team.

An Introduction to Alternative Lung Cancer Treatment

In addition to medical treatment, some people with lung cancer want to try alternative treatments to ease stress or reduce side effects and symptoms. Some people feel that these options offer some benefit.

Alternative Treatment Options

Some types of alternative treatments used for lung cancer include:
  • Acupuncture
  • Massage therapy
  • Herbal products
  • Vitamins or special diets
  • Nutritional supplements
  • Visualization
  • Meditation
  • Spiritual healing
  • Yoga
  • Biofeedback.

Recommendations When Considering Alternative Treatments for Lung Cancer

Before you try any alternative lung cancer treatment, you should discuss the possible value and side effects with your medical doctors. You should also let them know if you are using any such alternatives. These treatments should never be used instead of medical treatment. Be aware that these therapies may be expensive; some are not paid for by health insurance. You should consider asking the therapist for evidence of how the therapy has helped others, possibly by giving you references.
You may want to ask your doctor these questions:
  • What benefits can I expect from this approach?
  • What are its risks?
  • Do the expected benefits outweigh the risks?
  • What side effects should I watch for?
  • Will this alternative treatment change the way my lung cancer treatment works? Could this be harmful?
  • Is this approach under study in a clinical trial? If so, who sponsors the trial?
  • Will my health insurance pay for this approach?
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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