American College Of Surgeons - Inspiring Quality: Highest Standards, Better Outcomes

Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Woman doing yogaComplementary therapies may be used in addition to your medical and surgical treatment to enhance your recovery. Discuss these additional therapies with your health care provider to be sure they will help. Some examples of complementary therapies include:

  • Acupuncture
  • Nutrition
  • Biofeedback
  • Herbal therapy
  • Massage therapy
  • Art therapy
  • Yoga and meditation
  • Counseling
  • Music therapy

Therapies like acupuncture may help relieve fatigue, decrease nausea, reduce vomiting, and lessen pain in breast cancer patients.46

Sterile, hair-thin needles are inserted into specific points on the skin and are gently moved in the process. For a list of board-certified physicians who practice acupuncture in the United States, visit the ABMA website.

Keeping You Informed

Listening to music at home may reduce cancer patients' pain and fatigue and ease symptoms like loss of appetite and difficulty concentrating. Breast cancer patients who listened to 30 minutes of music 5 times a week had "noticeably" reduced side effects of cancer treatment over 24 weeks. Music helped their physical and psychological well-being because it helped them take their mind off cancer. Music therapy is convenient and can easily be used by people while walking or driving or in the comfort of their homes.47