Recent studies have shown that two in every five people will be diagnosed with some form of cancer in their lifetime. With over two hundred different types, cancer is becoming a widespread epidemic that is becoming harder to contain. As technology has progressed, two forms of cancer treatment have become the most utilized options; these are conventional treatments and holistic treatments. Conventional treatment is usually the more chosen option due to the scientific evidence that supports it.
By cause of the negative results that are consistently arising from these procedures, physicians are beginning to partially if not fully implement holistic medicine in their treatment plans. The main conflict between these two forms of healing is highly debated on each of the opposing sides. Conventional medicine argues the fact that they offer modern technology and medication to fully fight and disperse the disease from the affected area, as holistic medicine only helps the side effects of the cancer.
Holistic health care focuses on strengthening the immune system by accessing the cultural and spiritual aspects of the human body, while conventional methods only harm the central nervous system. Is there a way to use the good aspects of both therapies to form one sufficient form of cancer treatment? There are multiple methods of conventional treatments that are used by cancer patients. These methods include: chemotherapy, radiation treatment, and surgery. The two forms of treatment, whose purpose are to kill cancer cells in the body, are chemotherapy and radiation treatment.
Chemotherapy uses a form of synthetic chemicals and drugs that fight to catalyze the rapid division of cancer cells. There are almost fifty types of chemotherapy drugs, and they are used depending on the type of cancer, when the cancer originated, and where in the body the cancer is located. As the treatment slows down the rate of cell division, patients often get a controlled dose of radiation therapy. Unlike chemotherapy in which the treatment affects the whole body, radiation therapy targets the diseased area and aims to shrink the cancerous tumor.
These two forms of conventional treatment are often used together to ensure the full destruction of cancer cells. As chemotherapy and radiation therapy show effectiveness, the next step is to attempt to remove the weakened tumor via surgery. When people are told they have been diagnosed with cancer, the immediate thought is countless hours of chemotherapy and radiation treatment. However, the most effective way to defeat cancer is surgery. The operation removes the cancerous tumor along with small amounts of surrounding tissue to ensure all cancer cells are accounted for.
Instead of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy, some patients choose the ineffective methods of holistic medicine. This method of treatment has been proven to strengthen the immune system, but does not fight the cancer cells. Conventional medicine helps the body rid of the cancerous cells much more sufficiently than any holistic treatment. If alternative treatment is used, the diseased cells will only keep dividing until the cancer takes complete control. Surgery gives a high percentage chance of removing the cancer in a short span of time, compared to holistic medicinal practices in which the recovery process is unnecessarily long.
Conventional treatment offers technology and medications that not only strengthen the immune system, but assist in combatting the cancer as well. In contrast to conventional treatment, people who practice holistic medicine base their studies on the idea that healing the body comes from the strengthening of the mind and immune system. This type of medicine is divided into two categories; complementary and alternative treatments. Complementary treatments use spiritual methods of healing which include acupuncture, massage, and meditation.
“These therapies are used in an effort to prevent illness, reduce stress, prevent or reduce side effects and symptoms, and control or cure disease” (Holistic Cancer Cures). Alternative methods usually seem illogical since they are purely experimental. Examples of this would be electromagnetic therapy and essiac, which is the mixing of herbs. The main benefit of choosing this path of treatment is that all the methods used have no harmful effect on the body. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy do slow down the division of diseased cells, but they also slow the division of good cells in the body.
Fatigue, nausea, pain, and many more are on the list of side effects of conventional treatment. Holistic medicine does not have any harmful long term side effects, which on many occasions result in the death of the patient well after the cancer is fully removed. Both forms of cancer treatment offer good methods that increase the patient’s chances for survival. Conventional treatment uses technology to treat the disease. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy lower the rate of division between cancer cells, and the rate is decreased even more with the assistance of medications.
These are very effective but they do lower the patient’s immune system. This is where alternative treatments can be included. Holistic medicine rebuilds the weakened immune system, without harming the body. Since both methods have good aspects that could possibly coexist very well with each other, why not find some common ground between the two sides. The exact spot where these two forms of treatment meet in the middle is called integrative medicine. In my opinion, integrative medicine is the most logical compromise that can possibly be made.
“Integrative medicine refers to a systematic use of all appropriate practices, conventional as well as alternative, in a manner that focuses on the whole person” (Integrative Medicine: Combining Conventional with Complementary to Improve Patient Care). Now that the two forms of treatment are combined, the positives of each method can support each other by eliminating the negatives. For example, one side effect of chemotherapy is fatigue. Doctors encourage their patients to maintain a healthy diet and exercise throughout their recovery. These forms of holistic practices reduce the fatigue and increase the patient’s supply of energy.
Now the body can handle the side effects of the chemotherapy better, as well as reducing some of the other side effects of the conventional treatment. The main problem with holistic medicine is that most of the methods of treatment are not based on scientific facts. Even though they have been proven effective, the patient has to make the most logical decision by choosing conventional treatment in that life or death situation. A cure for cancer has still not been found, so I believe researchers need to begin thinking towards the future.
A great starting point for this is integrative medicine. Surviving cancer patient’s that have undergone this type of treatment usually start with conventional medicine. As they progress through their recovery, they begin to incorporate holistic medicine. With both combined, these treatments are aiding each other by coexisting. Integrative medicine is not just another option of treatment, it is the most effective and logical way of finally beating this disease. Works Cited McCreery, H. “Integrative Medicine: Combining Conventional with Complementary to Improve Patient Care. ” ONS Connect.
(2010): Pages 6-9. Journal Article. “Holistic Cancer Cures. ” www. lifepostive. com. Life Positive Foundation. Web. March 27, 2012. Paper 3 Outline I. First Paragraph a. Labels the two sides of the argument b. Explains the difference between the two sides c. Shows the basic main points of each sides argument II. Second Paragraph d. Provides a background summary for conventional treatment e. Discusses the types of conventional treatment and their functions (chemotherapy, radiation treatment, surgery) III. Third Paragraph f.
Explains the effectiveness of cancer surgery g. Establishes the argument for conventional treatment against holistic treatment. IV. Fourth Paragraph h. Explains holistic medicine and it forms of treatment i. Establishes the argument for holistic treatment against conventional treatment V. Fifth Paragraph j. Discusses that if used correctly, the two forms of treatment can support each other VI. Sixth Paragraph k. Introduces and discusses the compromise i. Integrative Medicine VII. Seventh Paragraph l. Discusses integrative medicine more in depth VIII. Eighth Paragraph m. Conclusion Paragraph n.
Gives my opinion on the argument Paper 3: Changes from Rough Draft to Final Copy In writing my final copy, I did not change much from what I wrote on my rough draft. I moved and revised some sentences so my paper would have better structure and would also benefit the “flow” of my essay. There were some grammatical mistakes I made in my rough draft that needed changing before writing my final copy. The peer review was also very beneficial. From this I made transitions in between paragraphs better, as well as eliminated some repetition of words and phrases throughout the paper.