Cancer is probably the greatest threat to human societies globally. Currently, the majority of cancer patients suffer daily from a tremendous emotional stress and agony due to an expected premature death in the near future. On the other hand, the conventional treatment of the disease has many types of side effects, which can easily torture patients and have a negative influence on their everyday life. It is therefore reasonable that many oncology patients, globally, are seeking a cure to alternative methods of cancer treatment. Throughout the centuries, the ancient techniques of herbal medicine, acupuncture, massage and spirituality claim that they can relief cancer patients, while in many cases they even offer a complete cure. Meanwhile, modern manufactured products containing vitamins, tracing elements or dietary products have appeared and try to find their place in cancer treatment. Indeed, applying conventional medicine along with alternative therapies, such as acupuncture and massage, may offer a symptom relief to cancer patients and improve significantly their quality of life. However, scientific evidence elucidating alternative medicine’s mechanisms of anticancer action and supporting its clinical benefit are currently inadequate or controversial. Furthermore, this type of medicine is not always safe and it is necessary to be practiced by authorized health care personnel in order to avoid serious side effects. All in all, further research and clinical trials are needed in order to include alternative medicine into every day clinical practice.
Key words: acupuncture, alternative therapies, cancer, herbs