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Complementary and Holistic Medicine

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The goal of complementary medicine is to balance the whole person — physically, mentally, and emotionally — while conventional medicine does its work. For many people diagnosed with breast cancer, complementary medicine has helped to:

  • relieve symptoms
  • ease treatment side effects
  • improve quality of life

Researchers are working to better understand the value and benefit of complementary medicine in breast cancer.

In this section, you can read:

What Is Complementary Medicine?
Learn about how complementary medicine works, points to consider, and costs associated with complementary techniques.
Types of Complementary Techniques
Explore a wide range of complementary therapy techniques — from acupuncture and yoga to prayer, music therapy, and massage.
The Healing Benefits of Complementary Medicine
Discover how complementary therapies can help you manage the physical and emotional symptoms of breast cancer.
Standards for Safety and Effectiveness in Complementary Techniques
Learn about the treatment standards, safety testing, and potential side effects associated with complementary medicine.
Finding a Complementary Medicine Practitioner
How do you tell if a complementary medicine practitioner is reputable? Learn how to find a skilled practitioner and what questions to ask before starting treatment.
Talking to Your Doctor About Complementary Medicine
Learn how to discuss complementary medicine with your doctors and nurses.
What Doctors and Patients Say About Complementary Medicine
Hear from women who have used complementary therapies and doctors who recommend them.
Complementary Medicine Resource Guide
Get a list of trusted websites and books where you can learn more about complementary medicine and a list of places to find a skilled complementary medicine practitioner.

Join the Conversation

The medical experts for Complementary Medicine are:

  • Raymond Chang, M.D., and Pamela Yee, M.D., Meridian Medical Group, New York; Institute of East-West Medicine, New York; Albert Einstein School of Medicine, New York 
  • Lorenzo Cohen, Ph.D., director of integrative medicine, The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX 
  • Beth Baughman DuPree, M.D., FACS, breast cancer surgeon, Comprehensive Breast Care Associates, Langhorne, PA; author of The Healing Consciousness; member of the Professional Advisory Board
  • Jane I. Hart, M.D., Preventive Medicine Consultations, Cleveland Heights, OH

This section is funded by an unrestricted educational grant from the Crowther Family at Lakeview Professional Services, Inc.

Personal Quote

"Some complementary therapies work better for some people than others—just like some chemotherapies are more effective for some women than others. I've gotten a lot of benefit from many complementary therapies, but you have to try some out for yourself. Look at your options and then decide what makes sense for you."

— Janine, breast cancer survivor

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