So, you just heard from the doctor that you have cancer. This can be a devastating blow. How did you get cancer? What does this mean for your future? How are you going to tell your family?
First, you need to process this news. Do you need a friend or therapist to talk to? Do you need some quiet time to contemplate? Maybe you need to research and find out as much as you can about your health.
Second, I recommend you come up with a plan. Talk to your doctor and/or oncologist and see what they recommend. If you are lucky, you have found a doctor who will recommend both traditional medicine and alternative therapies such as herbs.
Many clinical studies have shown that herbs can affect cancer treatment outcomes. However, I recommend you work with someone trained in herbs and cancer because some herbs can have adverse affects during cancer treatment, while other herbs will have a positive influence. This is very specific to they type of cancer, the stage of cancer and the treatment(s) involved.
For example, silymarin (milk thistle) has been shown to reduce liver toxicity from chemotherapy1. This is huge because it means cancer treatment can be better tolerated. Sometimes cancer treatments are too toxic for the patient and treatments are stopped before the cancer is eradicated. Thus, herbs can help create better outcomes.
After you find a health practitioner to advise you in herbal co-treatments for your cancer, come up with a list of priorities. Herbs can help reduce side effects of treatment, reduce the chance of cancer spreading, enhance traditional treatment to have better effects and after treatment can reduce the chances of cancer returning.
Rebecca Baker L.Ac. has a private practice in Castle Rock, CO. She specializes in helping those with migraine, traumatic brain injury and cancer care support. She also enjoys being on the faculty at Colorado School of Traditional Chinese Medicine.