Many people use complementary therapies during or after their breast cancer care, or for other health reasons. They offer people the chance to try therapies outside standard medical care and include things like acupuncture, herbs and prayer. When complementary therapies are combined with standard medical care, they are often called integrative therapies. Integrative and complementary therapies may help improve quality of life and relieve some side effects of treatment or the breast cancer itself.
Integrative and complementary therapies are used together with standard treatments (like surgery, chemotherapy and hormone therapy). Alternative therapies are used instead of standard treatment and are not recommended.
This section of Understanding Breast Cancer provides an overview of issues related to complementary therapies and detailed information on some popular therapies.
We also offer a Spanish language version of the information on the integrative and complementary therapies discussed in this section of Understanding Breast Cancer.