Complementary therapies

Complementary therapies are not used to treat cancer specifically, but are sometimes used together with conventional treatments to help manage treatment side-effects, or improve mental and physical wellbeing. You might read about complementary and conventional treatments being used together as integrative medicine.

Complementary therapies might include special diets, dietary supplements such as vitamins and minerals, meditation, yoga, acupuncture and massage.

Conventional treatments are described in more detail in a separate page, but could include (depending on the stage of the cancer):

  • Radiotherapy
  • Surgery
  • Androgen deprivation therapy, also known as hormone therapy
  • Chemotherapy

Alternative therapies are those used in place of the conventional treatment options.  For example, using naturopathy or herbal medicine to treat your cancer instead of conventional care. If you read books in this area you will come across many options for alternative therapies. They are considered scientifically unproven treatments, but there are many men who have gained benefits from them.

While the terms are often used together, alternative therapy is different to complementary therapy.

Before using any complementary or alternative therapies, talk to your doctor or other members of your healthcare team about all the possible risks and benefits.

You can find more information on the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia website.