Find out about complementary therapies such as relaxation techniques and acupuncture.

There is little scientific proof that complementary therapies help with the physical or emotional side effects of secondary breast cancer.

This doesn’t mean you should rule them out – people living with secondary breast cancer often tell us that they find complementary therapies very useful. They can help people to deal with the psychological impacts of cancer and to feel more in control.

Complementary therapies include:

  • Relaxation techniques
  • Massage
  • Acupuncture
  • Aromatherapy
  • Herbal therapies

Complementary therapies may be available in your hospital or health centre, or through charities and private organisations. Your clinical nurse specialist or others in your treatment team will be able to tell you what is available in your hospital and local area.

When certain therapies are used in place of conventional treatments such as chemotherapy or radiotherapy, they are called ‘alternative therapies’.

Breast Cancer Now does not advise the use of alternative therapies.

If you would like to use any herbal remedies, check first with your oncologist that they won’t interfere with your treatment or stop it from working properly.


Information last reviewed: October 2015

Next review due: October 2018

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