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An allopathic example would be giving chondroprotective food supplements in an effort to minimize NSAID exposure, thus sparing the kidneys and liver. Herbal formulae , which in most cases have been in use for hundreds, if not thousands, of years can replace very expensive drugs, avoiding the many side-effects that Western drugs often cause. Repeated steroid cortisone injections for skin allergies can actually cause gradual worsening of symptoms, resulting in bacterial infections and glandular dysfunction. Every skin disease is the result of either an invasion of external pathogens or internal pathogens.

The severity of the disease reflects the depth of the disease process and the time that it is present will determine the response to treatment. Oncology cancer patients are often dramatically improved when the diet can be adjusted to help achieve the desired pattern cooling the body following chemotherapy that causes heat, for example.

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This dog receiving electroacupuncture was in significant pain due to IVDD intervertebral disc disease before treatment. Animal-assisted therapy AAT , also known as pet therapy, is a form of therapy that uses dogs and other animals to help people cope with health problems, including cancer.

Table of Contents: Therapy dogs in cancer care

Visiting with a certified therapy pet in the hospital may provide patients and their families with comfort, relief and a distraction from pain, discomfort and stress. AAT has been shown to reduce stress, improve mood and energy levels, and decrease perceived pain and anxiety. It may also provide a sense of companionship that combats feelings of isolation.

Dogs are most commonly therapy pets, although other domesticated pets, farm animals and even dolphins have been used in some circumstances. Therapy dogs are trained and certified to work with patients. The visits vary in length, but generally last anywhere between five and 15 minutes. It is important that patients meet certain health criteria and are cleared by their oncologist to receive AAT. We have certified therapy dogs at all five of our hospitals.

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As part of our AAT program, our therapy dogs visit the hospitals throughout the week, and are always accompanied by their owners. These changes may be caused by physical effects from various cancer treatments, or from emotions triggered by feelings of loss, insecurity or a lack of control. These services include cognitive behavioral therapy and other mind-body strategies. Because of their biological makeup, men and women often experience relationship and intimacy challenges differently.

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Their experiences may also vary based on their cancer types and individual treatment regimens. For example, treatments that may cause side effects that impact intimacy, sexual intercourse and relationships include:. Hormone therapy : Men with advanced or metastatic prostate cancer may be prescribed hormone therapies that reduce their production of testosterone and other androgens. This may lead to hot flashes, decreased sex drive, impotence, loss of muscle mass and other physical changes.

Complementary medicine in cancer care: adding a therapy dog to the team.

Hormone therapies for women with ovarian cancer and breast cancer curb estrogen production. This may trigger physical changes that resemble menopausal symptoms, including hot flashes and vaginal dryness. Chemotherapy : For women, some anti-cancer drugs may irritate mucous membranes, making sex temporarily difficult or painful.

A weakened immune system may also raise the risk of yeast and other infections during treatment. Some chemotherapy drugs may lead to early menopause in some women and sterility in some men.