A Guide to Complementary Treatments for Cancer

complementary treatments for cancer

A few days after being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2003, Lynne Greabell got another surprise: She was also pregnant. Carrying a baby can be stressful business, especially when you’re 38, hold down a full-time job, and already have a toddler at home. But carrying a baby while fighting cancer — that’s a challenge not everyone can handle.

At least one doctor encouraged her to terminate the pregnancy, but Greabell, an administrator at an AIDS/HIV organization in Washington, D.C., decided to go on. She would need top-quality medical care — including a mastectomy and carefully chosen chemotherapy — to treat the disease while protecting her baby. Still, she soon discovered, surgery and medications can only take a person so far. With encouragement from her oncologist, Greabell meditated, went to yoga classes, had regular massage sessions, and tried acupuncture.

Nine months later, Greabell had a healthy baby boy and a clean bill of health. She also had newfound respect for complementary cancer treatments. “I felt like I had some control,” she says. “I needed some positive energy to fight the disease,” she says.

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