Let’s face it, it’s never easy to step away from convention and something we have been indoctrinated to believe is tried and true, especially when we don’t know what else is out there!! To go down a path less traveled often means to ‘go it alone‘, especially in the face of adversity, such as a cancer diagnosis, so how do we overcome these many obstacles and feel empowered to fully explore our options??
“Treatment decision-making by patients is a process not limited to one point in time; it will depend on many different factors”
Firstly, let’s define the word ‘Conventional‘: Someone who is conventional has behaviour or opinions that are ordinary and normal and which follow ‘the usual or widely accepted way of doing things’. As we are mostly aware, the ‘Conventional Three‘, which are purported to be the ‘big guns‘ in oncological treatments, refers to ‘Surgery, Radiation and Chemotherapy‘, all of which are widely known to have debilitating side-effects and limitations in targeting cancerous cells.
“Clinicians should encourage discussion with their patients about complementary and alternative therapies in an open, evidence-based and patient-centred manner”
With cancer treatment options being few the tide appears to be turning with the majority of people faced with a cancer diagnosis choosing NOT to solely rely on the ‘Conventional Three’ cancer treatments. Instead many people are now proactively taking more control over their diagnosis by educating themselves on alternative treatment options and adopting Complementary or Natural Therapies as part of their individual cancer treatment plan.
“It is to the advantage of all concerned, if patients are able to discuss complementary and alternative therapies openly, secure in the knowledge that they will continue to receive support and understanding from their treatment team”
‘The picture that emerges from studying people who decline conventional treatments is not necessarily one of “problem patients,” but of a unique group of self-directed, confident, and active patients who have thought deeply about the meaning of cancer and about their cancer treatment options’.