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What Are the Different Alternative Treatments for Leukemia?

Samples of blood from a healthy person and from one with leukemia, a type of blood cancer.
A leukemia diet might be high in antioxidants, which can be obtained naturally in kale.
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  • Written By: Lumara Lee
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 24 October 2014
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Patients with leukemia seek alternative treatments to Western medicine for a variety of reasons. Cost can be a factor; other times Western, or allopathic, medicine cannot cure the illness so patients seek palliative care to make the end of life as comfortable and pain-free as possible. Some of the most popular alternative treatments for leukemia are acupuncture, herbal medicine, nutritional supplements, changes in diet, and massage.

One of the goals that these alternative treatments for leukemia generally have in common is body detoxification. Leukemia and other cancers have various causes, and some of the chemicals in the environment and food chain are known carcinogens. Detoxification therapy can remove some of these toxins, boost the immune system, and help restore the body’s ability to fight disease. A diet of nutritious foods can do the same thing.

The recommended diet for someone with leukemia consists of natural foods rich in antioxidants such as apples, tomatoes, berries, and cherries. Some vegetables, including artichokes, peppers, spinach, beans and kale, also contain high amounts of antioxidants. A person wanting to use diet as one of the alternative treatments for leukemia can also obtain antioxidants from spices such as turmeric, cloves, cinnamon, and oregano.

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Sometimes people who are undergoing traditional chemotherapy or radiation turn to alternative treatments for leukemia to ease both the symptoms of the disease and the side effects of treatment. Nausea is a common side effect of some of the medical therapies used to treat leukemia. The herbs ginger and peppermint can quell a queasy stomach. These herbs are so versatile that they can be used as a flavoring for food, be made into tea, or taken in capsule form. Acupuncture, acupressure, and aromatherapy can also reduce nausea caused by chemotherapy and other treatments for leukemia.

Although alternative treatments for leukemia may be beneficial, a person considering any alternative therapies should be cautious. There are some frauds and quacks to be found among the many genuine practitioners of alternative medicine. The best way to find an effective practitioner of alternative medicine is to do the research. Perusing the Internet or learning of others’ experiences through word of mouth are the best ways to find a therapist who can help reduce the symptoms of leukemia and the side effects of allopathic medical treatments used to treat this form of cancer.

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