Efficacy of non-medicinal approaches in treating side effects associated with cancer treatment
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In the United States, the golden standard of treatment for patients afflicted with cancer is adjuvant chemotherapy treatment. Chemotherapy treatment has proven efficacy in eradicating cancer cells, but the treatment itself is associated with a variety of negative side effects. Side effects such as nausea and vomiting have been effectively treated with anti-emetics, but other negative side effects, such as fatigue and reduced quality of life, have no proven pharmacologic agents that effectively treat them. The goal of this paper is to identify alternative approaches to treat the side effects associated with chemotherapy treatment. This paper reviewed a large collection of literature concerned with determining the efficacy of exercise, music therapy, and spiritual techniques in reducing the magnitude of the negative symptoms associated with chemotherapy treatment. The data showed that exercise was the most effective therapy in reducing fatigue in cancer patients; meanwhile music therapy and spiritual techniques displayed efficacy in improving a patient's overall quality of life. However, further studies are needed in order to definitively determine the efficacy of exercise, music therapy, and spiritual techniques as adjuncts to chemotherapy treatment. This paper concluded that exercise, music therapy, and spiritual techniques have the potential to be effective tools that physicians can utilize when helping cancer patients alleviate the side effects associated with chemotherapy treatment. Moreover, exercise has shown the most evidence, through studies, as being an effective adjunct treatment to chemotherapy. Future research should focus on utilizing multiple therapeutic approaches in order to reduce the negative side effects associated with chemotherapy treatment.