Cancer, we all know, is a disease having multiple stages and types. It traditionally requires the patient to go through chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or surgery, and complicated medications depending on the patient’s condition. Getting to know of cancer, whoever it is, brings along confusion, nervousness, panic, leading to worsening of health. Stay calm and consult your physician about the further process.
We attempt to look for alternate solutions, mostly therapeutic or herbal ways, to treat any disease or slightest issues we encounter in our lives. If we look at the conventional methods mentioned above, they can cause certain side effects like appetite loss, anemia, fatigue, bleeding, hair loss, nausea vomiting, pain, sleep problems and much more. Here we shall cover some other treatment alternatives and learn if they can practically help treat cancer symptoms.
Steroids for Cancer Treatment
Steroids or commonly called corticosteroid is a viable option for treating cancer or to help the patient curb the side effects caused by the standard treatments. These can be helpful as a pain management method along with conventional cancer treatment. Our body produces corticosteroids chemicals naturally by the adrenal glands and endocrine glands. Some of these steroids are Cortef (hydrocortisone), Deltasone (prednisone), Decadron (dexamethasone), etc. Oncologists prescribe medications to take them orally or through intravenous injections, as supplementary assistance to the body.
Improves refractory symptoms like dyspnea and gastrointestinal obstruction
Prevent allergic reaction to any medication
Control nausea and vomiting caused due to chemotherapy
Reduce swelling (brain tumor)
Reduce skin reactions
A clinical study supports the use of corticosteroids as an effective treatment in advanced cancer as it inhibits inflammatory and immune responses. It can manage stress and respond well to infection. Corticosteroids might not be able to treat cancer directly, but it can cure the symptoms caused by it or the side effects caused by the standard practices.
There also are studies to establish the beneficial effects of anabolic steroids used during cytotoxic chemotherapy for metastatic cancer. You can consult your oncologist and confirm before ordering steroids Canada from a certified online store.
In terms of side effects, prolonged use and overdoses of corticosteroids can cause harm. There are long-term effects and some short-term as well. Understand that with your physician to identify correct usage.
Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Complementary and Alternative Medicine or CAM, are the practices that can help patients with cancer cope with the signs and symptoms of it. To clarify with examples, there is acupuncture, aromatherapy, yoga, meditation, hypnosis, massage, or some other alternative medicines which are not component of the standard medical care. These are interventions in the form of lifestyle changes. There can be a specific diet for patients instead of drugs, nutritional products, herbal supplements, which can equally support or work as an alternative to the standard treatment process.
While battling the disease, the distress and fatigue post-cancer treatments require consideration. The threat of cancer can lead to emotional and physical weakness in patients. These areas skip the attention of physicians and health care providers as they tend to focus more on curing cancer. CAM adopts a holistic approach in dealing with the disease, which takes into consideration the patient’s life and his/her family.
If the patient experiences anxiety, meditation can relax them. A massage can soothe their mind and body and offer relief. For nausea, vomiting, or pain, acupuncture, aromatherapy, hypnosis, massage can provide immense benefits. These strategies depend on individual preferences.
There is not much evidence to support CAM intervention as the right option. The Indian Journal of Palliative Care conducted a systematic review of CAM effects in cancer pain management. The review claims that the cancer patient’s quality of life can improve with a combination of pharmacological and non-pharmacological therapies. Numerous patients seek for such unconventional practices with the faith that these can improve their quality of life and provide promising benefits.
Marijuana for Treating Symptoms caused by Cancer
Marijuana is the herbal boon comprising a remarkable number of medicinal benefits to cure several ailments. It is made from the leaves and buds of the Cannabis Sativa plant. Its attraction is behind its quality to make you feel elevated after consumption. This feeling of high comes with some pain-relieving and relaxing properties. Its medical use goes back to centuries. But due to ignorance on its limit of use, states across the globe have now imposed their own laws on its selling, buying, growing activities. Some states allow both recreational and medicinal use of marijuana, while others allow only the latter.
As a potential treatment for cancer, marijuana can affect the symptoms of this disease in areas like pain management, neuropathy relief, nausea and vomiting, and loss of appetite. When a patient goes through chemotherapy, they experience nerve pain, numbness, vomiting, weight loss, and sleeplessness. Medical marijuana like Dronabinol (U.S FDA approved) can be a potential treatment for nausea and vomiting.
A clinical trial, using a different concentration of marijuana constituents, on neuropathic pain has shown that safe and low doses of it can relieve neuropathic pain. Another lab and animal testing clinical study show that marijuana can slow down or stop the growth of certain tumors. The safety profiles and benefits of marijuana are yet to undergo several human trials to assure its benefits in treating the disease. If you wish to self-administer, then do it under proper consultation.
Cancer disease first affects your body, and when you are aware of it, it starts influencing your mind making you feel sicker. Steroid, CAM, or marijuana cannot get you rid of the disease, but these can surely help inhibit cancer symptoms or the after-effects of any standard treatment methods. Even the sanest and rational human being can get nervous and need assistance to cope with the trauma of cancer. Get supportive people around you and do a rigorous research on methods to fight the disease.