Testicular Cancer

Complementary approaches for testicular cancer

Men with testicular cancer are highly unlikely to use complementary treatments instead of medical care because orthodox medical care is so effective. One man said that men would be 'crazy' not to pursue mainstream medicine. However, several said that complementary approaches are sometimes useful for controlling the side effects of treatments. One man pointed out that if herbal medicines are taken it is important that the doctor is aware of this because herbs may interact with other medicines.

Others we interviewed also saw dietary or herbal remedies as supplements and not substitutes for medical treatment. One man, for example, tried dried apricot seeds, and thought that they had some effect on his lump, but 'pinned his hopes' on traditional medicine, and was confident that chemotherapy would cure him.

Acupuncture was tried by one man to control the indigestion that had been caused by the radiotherapy. He did not find acupuncture effective but he was glad of the dietary advice given to him by the Chinese practitioner.

Some men found aromatherapy treatment very relaxing. One man said that during the aromatherapy treatments he also appreciated the opportunity to talk to someone 'neutral', a person outside his immediate circle of family and friends. A few men found reflexology helpful and relaxing too.

One man said that psychologically it was important for him to feel he was actively doing something himself to prepare his body for the treatment that was coming. He changed his life style, drank less alcohol, changed his diet to include organic food, and took vitamin supplements.

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Hypnotherapy helped one man to forget his fears about cancer. One of the symptoms that he had had before he was diagnosed with testicular cancer was profuse sweating (see 'Signs and symptoms'). Having been cured he still felt anxious and depressed, particularly if he was in a hot room, remembering the dreadful sweating he had suffered before his condition was diagnosed. The hypnotherapy proved successful, making him feel more relaxed and positive about life.

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Last reviewed December 2017.


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