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Cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy can create adverse reactions and side effects in cancer patients. Side effects include nausea and vomiting, fatigue, loss of appetite, and skin thinning or pigmentation. Homeopathy may help provide some relief.

Conventional cancer treatments

A significant number of people will be affected by cancer at some point in our lives. The standard conventional approaches of surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy can be lengthy and difficult. When handling the side-effects of these remedies, people occasionally turn to homeopathy. This report looks at the ways that homeopathy can help and what the study shows. 

Radiotherapy (radiation therapy) and chemotherapy are conventional treatments for cancer. They are used to shrink or destroy tumors, prevent the spread of cancer or reduce its probability of return, and might be utilized in combination with surgery. Radiotherapy kills cancer cells by targeting beams by a radiation system in cancer, or by adding small amounts of radioactive material in or close to the tumor. Radiation therapy is one of the main methods used in the treatment of cancer. But while it generally causes fewer side effects than chemotherapy, it may still cause problems, including skin damage, diarrhea, and fatigue. Homeopathic remedies are suggested for reducing these unwanted effects.

Chemotherapy destroys cancer cells with compounds that could be rubbed onto the skin, injected into the body, or consumed as a medication. Both approaches cause damage to the chromosomes of cells, restricting their ability to grow or reproduce. Since many cancers grow and divide rapidly, it's hoped that they'll be impacted far more quickly by the remedies than healthy cells, which normally grow and divide at a significantly slower rate.

See: Acupuncture helps a Breast Cancer cope up with Side Effects

Cancer treatments side effects

Regardless of all attempts to prevent or minimize the threat, chemotherapy and radiotherapy do create adverse reactions. Frequent short term effects include nausea and vomiting, fatigue, loss of appetite, and skin thinning or pigmentation. Long-term dangers include:

- Permanent dryness of mouth, eyes, vaginal mucosa, and sweat glands, 

- Fibrosis -- stiffening or hardening of vulnerable cells, 

- Scarring of exposed skin, 

- Heart disease, mainly if radiation has involved torso, 

- Cognitive decline, especially if radiation has involved the brain. Since all rapidly dividing cells in the body are by influenced therapy, not just the cancerous cells, some areas are especially prone to undesirable damage. The damage is done to:

bowel cells, causing diarrhea, 

Blood cells, increasing the chance of disease, 

Hair follicles, resulting in hair loss, 

Cells that line the mouth, causing stomatitis or inflammation and ulceration.

See: Acupuncture for Nausea & Vomiting Treatment

Homeopathy for cancer side effects

Homeopathic remedies to heal Cancer Treatment Side Effects

Those seeking an alternative treatment to ease the side-effects of chemotherapy or radiation often consider Homeopathy. Explore how different homeopathic remedies can help with the scientific studies included in the references.

- Nausea and Vomiting: Cocculine, a complex of treatments used for nausea and vomiting, was trialed for nausea and vomiting related to chemotherapy treatment of breast cancer. It was previously packaged and marketed as a travel sickness remedy. It alleviated the victim's symptoms better than placebo. The complex features include Nux vomica, Tabacum, Petroleum rectificatum, and Cocculus indicus.

- Stomatitis, or mouth inflammation and ulceration: Another treatment, Traumeel, significantly reduced the severity and length of chemotherapy-induced stomatitis in people undergoing bone marrow transplantation. A number of these patients were kids. Treatments within the complex include Calendula officinalis, Chamomilla, Echinacea, Echinacea purpurea, and Symphytum officinale. Aconitum napellus, Arnica montana, Belladonna, Bellis perennis, Hamamelis virginiana, Hepar sulphuris calcareum, Hypericum perforatum, Mercurius solubilis, and Millefolium.

Skin Inflammation and Itching

1. Homeopathic Belladonna and Xray alleviated indicators of radiodermatitis (a skin reaction caused by radiation). Both treatments were better than placebo as well as the recommended traditional western medicine.

2. Apis mellifica homeopathic remedy prepared from the sting of a bee protected guinea pigs from radiation-induced erythema (skin redness).

3. Calendula officinalis ointment reduced the incidence of Anxiety and psoriasis in women receiving radiation for breast cancer. It was better than the placebo as well as the recommended traditional medicine. The compound comprised of Calendula is in herbal form, but its impact has been homeopathic because of symptom similarity. Potentisation isn't a requirement for homeopathy, only a method of introducing additional benefits. A study done on nine different homeopathic remedies that were prescribed for 25 patients depending on their unique symptoms decreased post-radiation-induced itching. According to regular homeopathic prescribing procedures, if the first remedy was not useful, then the patient's symptoms were reassessed. Subsequently, a new and better fitting remedy would be prescribed. In all, 14 of 25 patients (56%) responded to the initial remedy, while 7 of 9 patients responded favorably to the second. It was observed that 21 of 25 (84%) patients were successfully treated. The treatments included Rhus-Toxicodendron [3/5]; Causticum [2/3]; Gamma-ray [2/2]; , and Kali-bichromicum [1/1], Ignatia [2/2]; Fluoricum Acidum [9/13]; and Psorinum [2/2].

Chromosomal Damage

1. White mice that were given homeopathic Ginseng and Ruta graveolens before and after radiation suffered less chromosomal damage than mice given just placebo. 

2. An Indian study indicates that homeopathic remedies create protective effects in the tissues of mice by regulating the genetic material within cells. 

Tautopathic Approach

Tautopathy is a branch of homeopathy where the patient's symptoms are treated with potentized doses of the particular chemical or medication that caused these symptoms. The tautopathic strategy is shown in the following three studies: 

1. Potentized dosage of traditional immunotherapy medications, such as tumor necrosis factor, was demonstrated to decrease their own crude dose side effects. 

2. A study in rats with potentized doses of carcinogens saw a protective effect against liver cancer subjected to the exact carcinogens.

3. Homeopathic x-ray was used to alleviate radiodermatitis in people receiving radiation as part of breast cancer treatment.


How to benefit from Homeopathy: Homeopathic remedies can have far-reaching benefits when prescribed according to the distinctive symptoms of the individual as opposed to by the title of this condition or disease. The majority of the research focused on the treatment of single symptoms or utilized complexes (combination remedies). Still, homeopathy is at its best when the person's cluster of symptoms is treated with an appropriate remedy as opposed to different treatments prescribed to treat those symptoms one by one. As an example, Cadmium sulphuricum is among the better-known treatments for radiation and chemotherapy side-effects. This benefit is due to its range of symptoms that cover extreme fatigue, anorexia, loss of hair, icy coldness, nausea and vomiting, and weight loss. These common side-effects of patients receiving chemo or radiotherapy can benefit from homeopathy. Most of these symptoms are caused by side effects that can be treated by common Homeopathic remedies instead of resorting to different treatments for different symptoms. Homeopathy also has more than only one remedy for treating a specific issue. As an example, nausea and vomiting related to chemotherapy may be helped by treatments like Arsenic record, Ipecacuanha, Nux vomica, Phosphorus, Tabacum, and several others. The right remedy is based on whether the patient's nausea is accompanied by thirst or not, a clean tongue or not is worsened by warmth or cold, or is with feelings of irritability. The remedy that best matches the individualizing indicators of that individual's nausea is the one that is going to be the most helpful. While homeopathy can be safely used for easy 'at home' needs, self-treatment for radiotherapy and chemotherapy side effects won't give the best results. A qualified homeopath with expertise in this area ought to be consulted as he or she'll distinguish between the sufferer's symptoms, select the most suitable remedy, and prescribe a dosing regime that matches that individual.

See: Homeopathy Treatment for Throwing Up - a Cancer Patient Case Study

Side effects & prevention

A Cochrane review of research studies found there were no severe side effects or interactions when homeopathy was utilized as a remedy for the adverse effects of radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Homeopathic therapies are well known for their lack of side-effects and interactions during treatments. Homeopathy should not be used to stop cancer, as opposed to treating these side-effects. Homeopathy can not only address many problems, but it may also prevent them as some of the studies listed above indicates. Because of this, homeopathic remedies for chemotherapy and radiotherapy side-effects shouldn't be used ahead of therapy as they may also block the destroying effects of the approaches. Until more research is offered in this specific topic, it would be smart to use homeopathy just as side-effects happen after treatment. It may be among the few times when Homeopathic prevention isn't better than cure. 

Nobody would like to hear about a cancer diagnosis, but when it occurs, the best way to confront it's with precise information and the caring support of caregivers, family, and friends. After considering the treatment options and making your decision on radiotherapy or chemotherapy, bear in mind that complementary therapies such as homeopathy can help with any side-effects if they arise. The treatments can help lower the side-effects of traditional cancer therapies. 

See: Oral Cancer Treatment in Homeopathy for a Success Case

Research studies in homeopathy for cancer care

Scientific studies of Homeopathic Remedies for side effects

Radiation therapy can cause considerable skin damage, like that of serious sunburn. A 10-week, double-blind trial of 61 women with breast cancer assessed the probable advantages of homeopathic therapy for reducing the severity of the side effect. Researchers used a mix of Belladonna 7c and a homeopathic remedy made from alcohol and water that was subjected to radiation. No benefits were observed in the treated group when compared with the placebo group.


See: Diet Plan for Person With Thyroid Cancer

Traditional homeopathic remedies

Homeopathic Treatments for Radiation Treatment Effects

According to classical homeopathy, there are many homeopathic treatments for radiation treatment support based on the details of the person seeking treatment.

- Belladonna is commonly used to treat skin conditions that are hot and red and possibly accompanied by fever.

- Sulfur may be utilized for radiation skin damage, which involves red, irritated skin, with scaly patches that may be moist or dry. The irritated area of skin will be made worse by the application of heat or water and contact with clothes.

- Ledum palustre is traditionally used for conditions between puffy, swollen skin, that feels cold to the touch and feels better when cold compresses are applied.

- Cadmium sulphuratum

This remedy can help a person with debilitating nausea and vomiting after chemotherapy. Someone who needs this remedy feels extremely chilly and exhausted.

- Gelsemium

This remedy is typically useful when a person feels sick from Anxiety or nervous anticipation of a stressful event or result. Weakness and trembling may happen, and the individual may have chills and headaches.

- Ipecacuanha

Persistent nausea and Violent vomiting that doesn't relieve the distress suggest a need for this remedy. The individual can also salivate profusely. Lying down and resting may offer little or no relief.

- Kali phosphoricum

This remedy can be helpful for fatigue and weakness after any sort of illness or prolonged stress. The individual may be oversensitive to light and sound and feel deeply cold. Depression, mental dullness, and an inability to cope are often seen when this remedy is useful.

- Nux vomica

Someone who experiences nausea but has difficulty nausea may find relief in this remedy. Headache and terrific sensitivity (to odors, noise, and light) are also likely. Chilliness, irritability, and impatience are often present when Nux vomica is necessary.

- Sepia:

This remedy may be suggested if nausea is severe and debilitating, with a headache (particularly left-sided) and a dragged-out sense of weariness. The individual may have a strong desire to be left alone and not be expected to interact with other people.

See: Yoga Relief For Breast Cancer Patients Recovery

References

1. Schlappack O., Homeopathic treatment of radiation-induced itching in breast cancer patients. A prospective observational study. Homeopathy. 2004 Oct;93(4):210-5.

2. Khuda-Bukhsh, A.R., Banik, S., Assessment of Cytogenetic Damage in X-irradiated Mice and its Alteration by Oral Administration of Potentized Homeopathic Drug, Ginseng D200, Berlin Journal of Research in Homeopathy, 1991, 1,4/5:254. Also, Khuda-Bukhsh, A.R. Maity, S., Alteration of Cytogenetic Effects by Oral Administration of Potentized Homeopathic Drug, Ruta graveolens in Mice Exposed to Sub-lethal X-radiation, Berlin Journal of Research in Homeopathy, 1991, 1, 4/5:264.

3. Anisur Rahman Khuda-Bukhsh. Mice as a model for homeopathy research. Homeopathy, Volume 98, Issue 4, October 2009, Pages 267-27.

4. Balzarini, A.,Felisi, E,. Martini, A et al., Efficacy of Homeopathic Treatment of Skin reactions During Radiotherapy for Breast Cancer: A Randomised, Double-Blind Clinical Trial,” British Homeopathic Journal, (2000)Jan:89(1):8-12.

5. Bildet, J., Guyot, M., Bonini, F., et al., Demonstrating the Effects of Apis mellifica and Apium virus Dilutions on Erythema Induced by U.V. Radiation on Guinea Pigs, Berlin Journal of Research in Homeopathy,1990,1:28.

6. Pommier, P, et al., Phase II Randomized Trial of Calendula officinalis Compared with Trolamine for the Prevention of Acute Dermatitis During Irradiation for Breast Cancer, Journal of Clinical Oncology, 2004, 22:1147-1453.

7. Placebo-controlled Evaluation of Cocculine® Efficacy in the Management of Nausea After Chemotherapy in Breast Cancer. http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT00409071

8. Oberbaum, Yaniv, Ben-Gal, 2001. Homeopathic Medication TRAUMEEL S Reduces Chemotherapy-Induced Stomatitis in Children. Cancer, 2001:Vol 92, No 3, pp 684-690.

9. Grimmer A. Homoeopathic War Remedies: Homoeopathic Recorder LXVI: March 1951 p.263

10. Grimmer A. Differentiating Symptoms of the Cadmium Salts: Homoeopathic Recorder: Sept 193o p.675


11. Balzarini A, Felisi E, Martini A, et al. Efficacy of homeopathic treatment of skin reactions during radiotherapy for breast cancer: a randomised, double-blind clinical trial. Br Homeopath J . 2000;89:8–12.


12. EBSCO CAM Review Board

13. De Gerlach, J., and Lans, M.,Modulation of Experimental Rat Liver Carcinogenesis by Ultra Low Doses of the Carcinogens, in M. Doutremepuich, Ultra Low Doses, Washington, D.C./London: Taylor and Francis, 1991.

14. Safrit, S, and Bonavida, B., Sensitivity of Resistant Human Tumor Cell Lines to TNF and Adriamycin Used in Combination, Cancer Research, 1992, 52: 6630-37.

15. Balzarini A, Felisi E, Martini A, De Conno F.Efficacy of homeopathic treatment of skin reactions during radiotherapy for breast cancer: a randomised, double-blind clinical trial. British Homeopathic Journal. 2000 Jan;89(1):8-12.

16. Kassab S, Cummings M, Berkovitz S, van Haselen R, Fisher P. Homeopathic medicines for adverse effects of cancer treatments. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2009, Issue 2. Art. No.: CD004845. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD004845.pub2.

See: Functional Medicine for Cancer Patients

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