Complementary therapies play a healing role for cancer patients

Deloris Hinson is careful about what she eats.
"I will only eat meat that's organic, that has no hormones or anything like that,” Hinson said.
Nutrition became particularly important to her after a diagnosis of stage-four, non-Hodgkins lymphoma in 2011.
Nuruddin Jooma of Florida Cancer Specialists, her doctor, put her on a strict eating plan while she underwent chemotherapy.
"There are foods that you want to avoid because of the side effects of the chemotherapy, such as acidic food, so the role of nutrition is huge in patients on treatment as well as after treatment,” said Dr. Jooma.
Another complementary therapy used in conjunction with treatments for cancer patients is acupuncture. Dr. Gene Healy said it can help ease the discomfort of some of the side effects of chemotherapy.
"Many of my patients, they suffer from things like nausea, neuropathy, insomnia, you know, emotional upset, depression about having to undergo this experience of cancer, so we help with a wide range of things,” Healy said.
Relaxation techniques, like yoga and meditation, also help.
"What they found was the cortisol level, which we know works sometimes in cancer patients as an inflammatory marker, did go down with yoga,” said Jooma.
Hinson also tried massage therapy.
"It helps with attention, helps with relaxation and actually some of the aches and pains that they develop from some of the side effects of the chemotherapy helps alleviate that as well,” said Jooma.
Hinson is now in remission and says complementary therapies, along with her cancer treatments, led to a positive outcome for her and believes it can for others as well.
"Your health is your wealth. Following your doctor's advice is to your advantage, not a disadvantage,” Hinson said.


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