Whether they benefit the body, such as massage therapy, or the mind, like art therapy, these are activities that everyone with cancer, depending on their interests and needs, could include within their journey with the disease.

The benefits of many complementary therapies are now recognized by the medical community. These approaches can significantly improve the quality of life for people with cancer and even enhance the effectiveness of the oncology treatments as well as strengthening the immune system.

Here is an overview of the most common benefits:
  • Improved mood
  • Reduced anxiety and stress
  • Reduced fatigue
  • Reduced nausea and other symptoms related to the illness and treatment

The Quebec Cancer Foundation: A pioneer in provision of complementary therapies

As part of its mission to improve the quality of life of cancer patients and their families, the Foundation has developed a varied range of complementary therapies over the years that it offers in its regional centers in Montreal, Quebec City, the Eastern Townships, Outaouais and Mauricie.

Today, the Foundation offers some twenty therapeutic activities, including massage therapy, art therapy and Kinesiology. Our choice of complementary therapies is carried out in accordance with three criteria:
  • the benefits of the activity for those with cancer must be recognized in the scientific literature
  • it must be delivered by a professional with accredited training in the field of complementary therapy
  • the person administering the therapy must be regulated by a professional association.
A word of caution! One should be careful to distinguish between alternative therapies and complementary therapies, since parallel methods claim to be able to replace conventional medical treatment, while complementary methods are used in conjunction with traditional medicine.

Where to start?

The world of complementary therapies is vast. Would you like to learn more about a specific type of therapy offered? For reliable, easy-to-access information, contact the Info-Cancer team of the Quebec Cancer Foundation at 1 800 363‑0063 or at infocancer@fqc.qc.ca.

Our librarians and nurses, who all have extensive experience in dealing with people with cancer, will help you select the therapy best suited to your health needs and expectations, in addition to referring you to available resources in your area. But remember to always consult your medical team before starting any complementary treatment.

Sources:
  • Trozzo, Pat, Traitements parallèles ou conventionnels?, Parcours, Summer 2006, p. 4-6
  • Parallèles? Complémentaires? Risques et bénéfices des méthodes non vérifiées en oncologie. Ligue suisse contre le cancer, 2002, 45 p.

Comment on this article

Sign up for our newsletter







 

Related items

Radiotherapy

Radiation therapy involves the use of X-rays, gamma rays, electrons and other forms of high-energy radiation. The treatment is painless and does not last long, from one to five minutes. In fact, the waiting and preparation phases often take longer than the treatment itself, about 10 to 15 minutes. Readmore

Supporting 15-30 year olds with cancer

The disease occurs at a particularly critical time in the lives of young people 15-30 years old. They will have to endure many physiological and psychological changes at a time of their lives when they are still in search of identity, autonomy, and establishing intimate relationships. Readmore

After cancer: Resuming an active life

When you’re undergoing cancer treatments, whether it’s chemotherapy or radiation therapy, your life revolves around daily or weekly medical appointments. You have health professionals telling you what to do, when to do it and where to go. You’re in their hands and they are there to reassure you throughout the experience. Readmore

Parenting with cancer

Being diagnosed with cancer turns your life upside down. This is even more so when you are a parent of young children or even teenagers. You probably want to protect your children from this trial and the upheaval it can cause. Readmore

Life habits

You don’t need to have been physically active prior to your cancer diagnosis to start moving. It only takes a few minutes of physical exercise a day to enjoy its many benefits: increased energy levels, better stress and anxiety management, fatigue reduction, alleviation of certain side effects, etc. Readmore