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Complementary Therapies

Complementary therapies for cancer are techniques you can use that may assist you with your traditional cancer treatments like surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy.  Before starting any type of complementary therapy, you should discuss your plans with your doctor to make sure the techniques will work well with your cancer treatment plan. It is very important that you check with your doctor about taking any over-the-counter herbs and supplements, because some of these may interfere with the effectiveness of traditional cancer treatments.


The Cancer Center staff have integrated several forms of Complementary Therapies such as relaxation, imagery, meditation , exercise, aromatherapy, etc.  Pet therapy is also instituted.  The Animal Assisted Programs of Good Samaritan Hospital provides these services in the Cancer Center.  These animals are tested and certified as "Certified Therapy Animals".  The animals provide patients, families, and staff an opportunity to interact freely with the animal and their handler.  In addition to the pleasure of animal interaction, this program provides a nontraditional, highly effective and compassionate service.  They help to reduce the tensions and stress that often accompanies treatment and therapy.  These animals also help occupy wait times for those in the Cancer Center.


To assist with the spiritual needs of patients, families and staff, a Prayer Box is located at the front desk in the Cancer Center lobby.  If someone has a prayer request or thanksgiving, they can complete one of the forms located near the box and place the request in the Prayer Box.  The request is taken to the hospital Chapel.

Some forms of complementary therapies that some cancer patients have found helpful are:

  • Rhythmic Breathing
  • Progressive Muscle Relaxation
  • Visualization/Imagery/Guided Imagery
  • Distraction
  • Hypnotherapy
  • Biofeedback
  • Meditation
  • Herbs & Biochemicals
  • Massage
  • Aromatherapy
  • Yoga
  • T'ai Chi
  • Acupuncture/Acupressure
  • Journaling
  • Exercise
  • Chinese Medicine
  • Pet Therapy
  • Healing Garden

For More information on Complementary Therapies we suggest the following web sites:

American Botanical Council:

American Holistic Medicine Association:

Center for Mind-Body Medicine:

Food and Nutritional Information Center:

National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine:

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center - Information Resource:  About Herbs, Botanicals and Other Products:

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