Beyond Chemo: 3 Supportive Treatments For Cancer Patients

There are many treatments for cancer depending on the type of cancer and stage. Many patients fail to realize treating cancer extends far beyond medical treatments. There are other forms of treatment for cancer patients that can be important for addressing other needs.


Cancer is a devastating diagnosis for both patients and loved ones alike. It is important to find psychologists, especially those who specialize in treating cancer patients. Regardless of the severity of cancer, the diagnosis can bring significant anxiety and depression. Many patients struggle with the prospect of the own mortality, even if their disease is not terminal. Another aspect of psychology can be developing strong aversions to treatments, especially chemo. Some people report significant anxiety and nausea before their chemo session, often because there is anxiety about how they will feel after the session.


Nutritional support is also important for patients, especially those who are going through chemo and dealing with side effects, such as nausea, vomiting, and altered taste or smell. All these side effects can cause a lack of appetite and an aversion to foods you once liked. Although you may have little desire to eat, nutritional support can involve ideas on making the foods you can tolerate more nutritious to avoid weight loss and nutrient deficiencies. If you have a hard time taking vitamin and mineral supplements, your doctor might recommend skin patches to help you absorb nutrients in a transdermal manner. Other treatments that can help is the use of anti-nausea medications and medical marijuana in areas where it is legal. Some people rely on nutritional shakes because they can sip on them throughout the day. In addition to gaining adequate nutrients and protein, the shakes can keep you from becoming dehydrated.


Part of your treatment approach should include groups to help cancer patients become more social. These groups can be found online, but your treatment center may host groups for specific types of cancer. Ideally, these groups will include people currently going through treatments and survivors. Talking with survivors of your type of cancer can lessen feelings of doom. Although you may have a strong support system from friends and family, you may feel like these people do not truly understand because they may not have gone through a similar experience. Support groups for cancer patients can make you feel more comfortable talking about your true feelings and fears.

Medical treatment can be critical for managing or curing cancer, but an integrative approach often yields better results. Addressing psychological, nutritional, and social needs can help you manage all aspects of cancer.

Contact a medical health professional in your area to learn more about cancer support treatments.