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Cancer and Symptom Management


Cancer and Symptom Management

NIH, National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health bulletin 08/03/2016

If you or a family member has cancer, you’re no doubt doing everything you can to fight the disease, manage its symptoms, and cope with the side effects of treatment. Here’s what we know about how complementary health approaches may fit into that plan:

Symptom management.

Acupuncture, massage therapy, mindfulness-based stress reduction, and relaxation therapy may help you manage some symptoms of cancer and side effects of treatment. If you plan to try any of these, work with a trained professional and check with your doctor first.

Disease treatment.

There’s no evidence that any complementary health approach can cure cancer or cause it to go into remission.

Cancer prevention.

Taking a multivitamin or mineral supplement may slightly reduce the risk of cancer in older men. No other complementary health approach has been shown to be helpful in preventing cancer.