Alternative medicineBy Mayo Clinic staff
No alternative treatments for male breast cancer are proved to cure the disease. But some alternative treatments are thought to be helpful when coping with the side effects of cancer and cancer treatment.
Alternative medicine treatments may help you cope with feelings of anxiety and distress, which many people diagnosed with cancer experience. You may experience anxiety and distress from the shock of your diagnosis and from worrying about your future. If you have anxiety and distress, you may have difficulty concentrating and sleeping.
To help you cope, you might consider alternative medicine treatments, such as:
- Creative activities. Creative activities such as art, dance and music may help you feel less distressed. Some cancer centers have specially trained professionals who can guide you through these activities.
- Exercise. Gentle exercise may help boost your mood and make you feel better. If you haven't been exercising regularly, ask your doctor if it's OK. Start slow and work your way up to more exercise on more days of the week.
- Meditation. Meditation is a quiet activity that helps you clear your mind of distracting thoughts. You can meditate on your own or receive guidance from an instructor.
- Prayer. Many people find strength from a power greater than themselves. You can pray on your own or you can meet with a chaplain or other religious person who can pray with you.
- Relaxation exercises. Relaxation exercises help refocus your mind and help you relax. Relaxation exercises include guided imagery and progressive muscle relaxation. You can do relaxation exercises on your own, with an instructor or by listening to a recording that guides you through the exercises.
- Male breast cancer treatment (PDQ). National Cancer Institute. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/treatment/malebreast/patient. Accessed Jan. 18, 2012.
- Johansen Taber KA, et al. Male breast cancer: Risk factors, diagnosis and management. Oncology Reports. 2010;24:1115.
- Gomez-Raposo C, et al. Male breast cancer. Cancer Treatment Reviews. 2010;36:451.
- Brain K, et al. Psychological distress in men with breast cancer. American Journal of Clinical Oncology. 2006;24:95.
- Distress management. Fort Washington, Pa.: National Comprehensive Cancer Network. http://www.nccn.org/professionals/physician_gls/f_guidelines.asp. Accessed Jan. 18, 2012.