Though most of the treatment protocols suggested by mesothelioma specialists focus on traditional medicine, a growing number of physicians are encouraging their patients to pursue alternative and complementary options as well, and most notably yoga and meditation. Though there are concerns about the effects of some options patients are pursuing on their own — most notably supplements and herbal medicines — physicians are increasingly supportive of yoga and meditation as being beneficial.
Alternative Treatments Can Be Highly Beneficial
According to a recent study led by Dr. Nina Sanford of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, in Dallas, a growing number of patients who are diagnosed with cancer, including mesothelioma, are pursuing alternative paths on their own. Activities like yoga and meditation are encouraged, because patients who stay active tend to respond better to treatment, and to feel better. This is particularly true for those undergoing radiation, which often leads to fatigue: patients who pursue mild forms of exercise have been able to maintain their normal energy levels better than those who do not, and they also feel better able to deal with stress. Yoga has also been shown to relieve nerve damage caused by chemotherapy. Unfortunately, there are other alternative practices that doctors fear will interfere with conventional cancer treatment.
Communicating Alternative Treatments to Your Physician is Essential
If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma and you are considering adding some kind of herbal supplement or medication to your regimen, it is essential that you alert your physician to your plans. Dr. Sanford’s study found that one third of those who are using alternative medical treatments fail to communicate this to their physicians. Though some are safe, the health supplement industry is unregulated, and there have been instances where a failure of quality control has led to people who are already medically fragile being sickened by impure ingredients. Additionally, mesothelioma patients who are consuming high levels of anti-oxidants in some of these treatments may actually be making the radiation therapy that they are receiving less effective.
Mesothelioma specialists are supportive of alternative treatments that have been proven to help, and many include these protocols as part of a whole team treatment approach. For information on mesothelioma treatment centers in your area, contact the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net at 1-800-692-8608.