Mesothelioma patients can find relief from painful symptoms with natural treatments like acupuncture, aromatherapy, meditation, and dietary supplements. That said, patients should speak with doctors to make sure that natural treatments will be helpful. While natural treatments can ease pain, standard cancer treatments offer the best chance for long-term survival.
Natural Treatments for Mesothelioma Explained
Natural treatments can help mesothelioma patients manage symptoms, reduce stress, and promote healing.
Natural treatments are not intended to replace standard mesothelioma treatments like surgery, but to accompany them.
Some examples of natural treatments include:
- Dietary supplements
While natural treatments cannot cure mesothelioma or other kinds of cancer, they can help ease some of the pain and reduce the side effects of traditional treatments.
Learn more about natural mesothelioma treatments below.
Acupuncture involves the application of fine needles to chosen points across the body. Traditionally, this is believed to restore the flow of life force energy, called “chi.”
Modern medical science suggests acupuncture works by releasing neurotransmitters like endorphins and serotonin.
Once the needles are in place, they can be moved by hand, stimulated with an electrical current, or warmed using infrared heat sources.
Small clinical trials have shown that acupuncture can help with multiple symptoms of cancer, although more trials are required to confirm these results.
According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), acupuncture can relieve:
- Nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy, surgery, and/or radiation therapy
- Pain caused by cancerous tumors
Acupuncture is generally considered a safe natural treatment for mesothelioma patients. However, the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) states that some patients should avoid acupuncture.
Acupuncture should not be used if patients:
- Have a higher risk of infection due to low white blood cell counts
- Suffer bleeding related to low blood platelet counts or the use of blood thinners
Patients can see if acupuncture can help them by talking to their mesothelioma doctors.
Aromatherapy promotes healing and calmness through the use of essential oils. The oils come from multiple plants to create different fragrances, including ginger, cedarwood, and lavender.
There are several methods to enjoy aromatherapy:
- Diluted essential oils can be massaged into the skin
- Patients can inhale aromas with a diffuser that spreads the oils as a fine mist
- Direct inhalation can be done by placing a few drops of oil into hot water
The benefits of aromatherapy vary between patients, according to the NCI.
Mesothelioma symptoms eased by aromatherapy may include:
- Anxiety and depression
- Nausea and vomiting
Generally, there are no drawbacks to aromatherapy, but patients should speak with a specialist before trying it. Applying oils to the skin can cause an allergic reaction in some patients.
3. Dietary Supplements
“Dietary supplements” is a broad term that covers edible products that may help a person’s health.
Dietary supplements can include:
- Planted-based or animal-based products
Supplements are delivered in a variety of ways, including:
- Energy bars
- Liquid food supplements
- Powdered amino acids
Dietary supplements can sometimes be used to replace or increase nutrients. For example, someone with frequent vomiting might use a multivitamin to replenish what they’re missing from food. Supplements can also help the body naturally repair itself.
Yet not all dietary supplements are safe. Some manufacturers use filler substances and even harmful drugs to make their dietary supplements. Supplements can also interfere with chemotherapy and radiation treatments.
Meditation allows patients to calm their mind, which in turn can relax their body. The charity organization Cancer Research UK found that meditation can ease many cancer symptoms.
These symptoms include:
- Difficulty sleeping
- High blood pressure
Meditation is one of the most accessible forms of natural treatment for mesothelioma patients, requiring little preparation or equipment. For best results, patients can work with psychologists or certified meditation instructors.
Mesothelioma Natural Treatments: Other Options
The natural treatments listed above are some of the most popular among cancer patients, but there are many more available.
Other natural mesothelioma treatment options include:
- Music therapy
The American Cancer Society urges patients to speak with their health care team before starting any alternative cancer treatments. Cancer changes the body and makes it more vulnerable to treatments that would be otherwise harmless.
Finally, patients should never substitute natural mesothelioma treatments for surgery, radiation therapy, or chemotherapy. Those treatments are the only way for patients to live longer as they directly kill or remove cancerous tumors.