The alternative treatments available for mesothelioma include using herbs, amino acids, vitamins or minerals, peptides and other nontoxic natural supplements. These treatments are similar to those used for other diseases and often used in conjunction with conventional cancer therapies. Nearly 70 percent of cancer patients use alternative treatments. However, this percentage does not include a high number of mesothelioma patients. Nevertheless, if these alternative therapies are used, patients should do so under their doctor’s supervision. Alternative therapies for mesothelioma include:
Astragalus is a plant found in China that has been used to restore energy for thousands of years. The Chinese believe that injecting Astragalus while using chemotherapy will slow tumor growth, boost the immune system and relieve the adverse effects of chemotherapy that most patients experience. According to a study in China, the quality of life for patients in advanced stages of cancer improved with Astragalus injections.
Cat’s claw is a vine from South America and has been used for a long time to treat cancer and other medical conditions such as gastritis, arthritis and epidemic diseases. While conventional studies show conflicting results on the use of cat’s claw, in 2001, a study revealed positive results for breast cancer patients.
Supporters of using Iscador as an alternative therapy for cancer believe that cancer cells are changed. A patient’s well-being improved as the immune system accelerates. Iscador is a brand name for a mistletoe species that is found in Europe. Various illnesses have been treated with mistletoe for hundreds of years. The survival rate for patients with ovarian, breast, stomach, cervical, lung and colon cancer improves when these responses from Iscador occur in the body.
A 2005 study of malignant melanoma patients showed that fewer cases metastasized to the brain or lungs when Iscador was given. The survival rates of these patients improved.
Ukrain comes from celandine, a common weed and is also a partial synthetic compound. Ukrain is combined with Thiotepa, a chemotherapy drug that is given intravenously to cancer patients. Patients with pancreatic, colorectal, breast and bladder cancer who participated in clinical studies were given ukrain. Some improvement was shown in those patients.
Vitamin C is considered the most controversial form of alternative treatment for cancer. One of the major advocates for its effectiveness was Linus Pauling, a Nobel Prize winner who worked with doctors in Scotland to use vitamin C as a treatment for cancer patients. Pauling and the doctors reported good results, though other studies to determine the effectiveness of vitamin C showed no effects.
This did not deter Pauling from believing that vitamin C was an effective method for treating cancer. Since vitamin C plays a major role in the biochemical reactions in the body, Pauling maintained his belief that this alternative therapy can work. Vitamin C is needed in the immune system to produce the collagen that connects and supports tendon, cartilage and ligament tissues. Muscles, bones and blood vessels are also strengthened by collagen, Thus, Pauling believed that cancer would not metastasize because of the collagen.