Alternative Treatments for Melanoma

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Updated on September 3, 2022

Alternative Treatments for Melanoma

Radiation therapy and chemotherapy are the most common cancer treatments. In most cases, they are among the first treatments prescribed for most cancer patients. This includes stomach cancers.

These treatments work by targeting a wide area, attacking both healthy and cancer cells. That’s why, whether you’ve received these treatments or not, you probably know they can leave you feeling weak and experiencing a range of side effects. Sometimes, chemotherapy fails patients. Chemotherapy-resistant cancer, which means a cancer returns even after it’s been treated, is not uncommon. This situation can leave some feeling hopeless and confused.

This reality is especially troubling for people diagnosed with melanoma. According to the American Cancer Society,  melanoma cases represent only about 1% of all skin cancers (which are the most common type of cancer). However, melanomas cause the most skin cancer-related deaths), highlighting that people with melanoma are likely in need of, or searching for, new ways to treat and manage their conditions.

That’s why new treatments are needed. In fact, given the limitations of existing treatments, particularly when it comes to their numerous side effects, it’s important to find treatments that can support current treatments or be used as alternatives that can give people choices. Fortunately, various alternative and supportive cancer treatments for liver cancer have been studied, with some promise.

Below are a few alternatives/complements to standard treatment for colon cancer. These alternative treatments can be grouped into one of three categories: nutrition, supplements, and mental/mindfulness practices.

Nutrition

Nutrition

What we eat plays a crucial role in our overall health, so it makes sense that what we eat would have an impact on cancer.

Overall, research has examined various aspects of diet and food and their connection to cancers like melanoma. Overall, there are two key dietary choices that can have a beneficial impact on your melanoma cancer.

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Antioxidants

Antioxidants play a very important role in the body. Specifically, they target free radicals in the body and eliminate them. Free radicals are produced by the immune system and can help fight infections. Too many free radicals, however, can lead to damaged cells, including damaged cell DNA. Damaged DNA is one potential cause of cancer because when DNA is damaged, cells don’t grow correctly. They can sometimes grow uncontrollably and lead to cancer.

Antioxidants help remove excess free radicals from the body. Fortunately, antioxidants are found in many different types of food you can start incorporating into your diet right now. Examples of antioxidant-rich foods include:

  • Blueberries
  • Strawberries
  • Broccoli
  • Spinach
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Kale

Fiber 

Fiber has long been known for having health benefits. Aside from the benefits such as helping lower cholesterol, fiber plays an important role in the gut. Specifically, eating fiber-rich foods can help increase the diversity of bacteria in the gut. Given the link between the gut and the body’s immune system, this increase in diversity can help support a healthy immune system.

So what’s this got to do with people who already have melanoma? Well, fiber may be a tool you can use to support other types of cancer treatments you’re receiving, especially for later-stage melanoma patients. Immunotherapy is often used in this stage of cancer. Immunotherapy is designed to give your immune system a hand in finding and destroying cancer cells. Because fiber can help boost the immune system, it might offer a multi-pronged approach to generating a more powerful immune system response.

Supplements

CBD

Among the different ways CBD can affect your body, research shows that CBD supplements can help people with melanoma manage the pain and inflammation caused by their cancer. It can also help with anxiety caused by melanoma.

Mindfulness/Complementary Therapy

Mindfulness/Complementary Therapy

Exercise

Research shows that exercise can leave you feeling more energetic, which can be a potential positive for people struggling with melanoma.

Some research also suggests that exercise may offer some kind of anti-cancer benefit. For example, research in rat models even suggested exercise could slow the growth of melanoma tumor cells, particularly when paired with treatments like immunotherapy.

Acupuncture

Acupuncture has been shown to reduce pain and symptoms related to cancer and cancer treatment.

Meditation

Taking the time to meditate and connect the body and mind together has been shown to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. This can be especially helpful for improving the quality of life of people with later-stage melanoma.

With any type of cancer treatment, it’s important to make sure you fully understand the available treatment options and choose options that work for you. This should include talking to your doctor before starting any cancer treatment. They can help you decide which treatment options are right for you.

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