Radiation therapy is one of the most important methods used to treat cancer. However, while it generally causes fewer side effects than chemotherapy, it can still cause problems, including skin damage, diarrhea, and fatigue. Homeopathic remedies have been proposed for minimizing these side effects.
Radiation therapy can cause significant skin damage, similar to that of a severe sunburn. A 10-week, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of 61 women with breast cancer evaluated the possible benefits of homeopathic treatment for reducing the severity of this side effect. 1 Researchers used a combination of Belladonna 7c and a novel homeopathic remedy made from water and alcohol that had been subjected to radiation. No benefits were seen in the treated group as compared to the placebo group.
According to the principles of classical homeopathy , there are many possible homeopathic treatments for radiation therapy support, to be chosen based on various specific details of the person seeking treatment.
Homeopathic Belladonna is traditionally used to treat skin conditions that are red and hot, and possibly accompanied by fever.
The remedy Sulphur might be used for radiation skin damage that involves red, irritated skin, with scaly patches that may be dry or moist. The irritated area of skin will be made worse by application of heat or water and contact with clothing.
Homeopathic Ledum palustre is traditionally used for conditions involving puffy, swollen skin, that feels cold to the touch, and feels better when cold compresses are applied.
1. Balzarini A, Felisi E, Martini A, et al. Efficacy of homeopathic treatment of skin reactions during radiotherapy for breast cancer: a randomised, double-blind clinical trial. Br Homeopath J . 2000;89:8–12.
Last reviewed August 2013 by EBSCO CAM Review Board
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