Integrative oncology: complementary therapies for cancer survivors

Hematol Oncol Clin North Am. 2008 Apr;22(2):343-53, viii. doi: 10.1016/j.hoc.2008.02.002.


Cancer survivors experience a wide range of symptoms during and following completion of treatment, and some of these symptoms may persist for years or even decades. While pharmacologic treatments relieve many symptoms, they too may produce difficult side effects. Complementary therapies are noninvasive, inexpensive, and useful in controlling symptoms and improving quality of life, and they may be accessed by patients themselves. Rigorous scientific research has produced evidence that acupuncture, massage therapy, music, and mind-body therapies effectively and safely reduce physical and emotional symptoms. These therapies provide a favorable risk-benefit ratio and permit cancer survivors to help manage their own care.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Complementary Therapies / methods*
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / rehabilitation*
  • Quality of Life
  • Survivors*