Cancer treatments continue to advance every day. Despite many of these advances, some of the most common cancer treatments are radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Because they are the most common treatments, they are often the most common types of cancer prescribed. This includes people with uterine 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.
Uterine cancer isn’t an altogether common cancer, but that doesn’t make it any less serious. Worldwide, the number of people diagnosed with uterine cancers was just over 400,000 people in 2020. Most of these cancers occur in the endometrium.
That’s why new treatments are needed. In fact, given the limitations of existing treatments, particularly when it comes to their numerous side effects, and the fact that the number of people with uterine cancer increases every year, 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 cancer have been studied with some promise, especially for uterine cancers.
Below are a few alternatives/complements to standard treatment for uterine cancer. These alternative treatments include supplements, new cancer treatment advances, and mindfulness therapies.
Curcumin is a polyphenol found in turmeric, a common Indian spice.
Polyphenols are a type of antioxidant and are found in a variety of foods (such as certain berries and vegetables).
Antioxidants play a vital role in maintaining a healthy balance of free radicals in our bodies. Free radicals are compounds that play an important role in our body’s health (they are produced by our immune system to fight infection, for example).
However, when free radical levels are too high for too long, it can cause chronic inflammation (or the immune system operating in overdrive) and damage healthy tissue. This is called oxidative stress. Oxidative stress can play a role in causing cancer to form.
A study reviewing the current state of research on the effects of curcumin on endometrial carcinomas (cancers starting in the lining of the uterus) found two things: first, curcumin could interfere with cell communication in endometrial carcinoma cells, particularly communication pathways that can lead to cancer. Second, curcumin could also make other cancer treatments like chemotherapy more effective.
A mixture of eight different herbal supplements, hangam-dan has been used in certain types of complementary and alternative medicine approaches, such as Traditional Chinese or Korean Medicine. Findings from a case study of two patients with endometrial carcinoma showed that this herbal mixture led to a partial regression in cancer among the two patients who had relatively stable disease. However, much more research on Hangam-dam is needed.
New Cancer Treatment Advances
IV vitamin C therapy is essentially the administration of high concentrations of vitamin C supplements either intravenously (IV) or by mouth. Vitamin C (also called ascorbic acid) is a necessary nutrient that plays a lot of vital roles in the body, including the formation of various tissues and blood vessels. It has also been shown to have antioxidative qualities.
A handful of studies, for example, have explored the effects of vitamin C and lycopene (an antioxidant). These studies suggested that vitamin C could have a powerful benefit, such as preventing these cancer cells from growing when given in a high enough dose. However, none of these studies were prospective studies (the gold standard in determining whether there is a cause-effect relationship). More research is needed to study the connection between vitamin C and uterine cancer.
Many cancer treatments are focused largely on the physical aspects of cancer, whether it be actively targeting tumors and cancer cells or dealing with the physical side effects of taking cancer treatment (such as fatigue). Some complementary therapies help focus on the mental effects of cancer and cancer treatment, including stress and depression.
In fact, research consistently shows that complementary therapy is capable of providing this kind of relief to cancer patients, particularly people with uterine cancers.
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.