Defeat the worst side effect of breast cancer treatment

Surviving breast cancer is only part of the battle.

Handling your treatment? That’s often another story altogether, as the side effects of drugs, chemo, radiation, and more can make you feel even worse than the cancer ever did.

Tell your mainstream cancer doc, and he’ll practically shrug.

Sure, he knows you’re feeling lousy. But that’s the cost of fighting this disease, so bear with it.

Now, new research shows how you DON’T have to pay that cost.

And you don’t have to bear with it.

There’s a completely natural and drug-free therapy that can practically WIPE OUT one of the most debilitating side effects of a common breast cancer treatment.

A class of medication called aromatase inhibitors is known to cause of host of problems, but the worst of all might be the joint pain.

Up to half of all women on the drugs battle pain in joints throughout the body, including the fingers, hands, wrists, knees, ankles, and shoulders.

We’re not talking a little ache, either.

It’s bad. Very bad. It’s so bad that the pain alone often causes women to cut off their treatment.

Imagine that? They’d rather take their chances with the cancer than deal with this kind of agony.

This is where complementary medicine shines, because a new study published in JAMA confirms that acupuncture can chase away that pain -- or at least make it milder and far more tolerable.

Over six weeks, women given acupuncture had DOUBLE the improvements in joint pain levels than women given either a sham form of acupuncture or no treatment at all.

On a scale of 1 to 10 for pain, the women were at a 6.6 at the start of the study.

After the acupuncture, their pain levels sank to a much more bearable average of 4.5, a difference that’s considered clinically meaningful.

Of course, this isn’t quite the same as eliminating the pain completely. But it’s just one treatment – and like most forms of complementary medicine, it can be safely combined with others for an even bigger effect.

As breast cancer survivor and naturopathic physician Dr. Lise Alschuler tells me in the final episode of my six-part video series Beyond Chemo, “I wish that every single person going through chemotherapy or radiation had the opportunity to utilize integrative natural treatments concurrent with and after those conventional treatments.”

For example, in the series, we share show supplementing with curcumin (the compound that gives the spice turmeric its golden hue) can also reduce inflammation – effectively lessening pain. As well, curcumin has been found to protect cells from damage caused by radiation.

And that, Dr. Alschuler says, helps the recovery from cancer be “so much more complete.”

But before you reach that point… before you even need to combat the side effects of aromatase inhibitors … make sure you need them in the first place.

You might not!

The women in the new study all had early-stage breast cancer. In many cases, you can beat the cancer early on -- without drugs – by getting a procedure such as a lumpectomy followed by careful monitoring to ensure the cancer is gone and doesn’t return.

That’s why it’s essential to get a second opinion before you begin treatment – ideally one from a holistic medical doctor who can help you figure out the best treatment and ease the worst of the side effects, too.

If you haven’t tuned in to Beyond Chemo yet, you can catch up on episodes… or find out what you’ve missed… right here.