Are There Any Alternative Approaches To Conventional Cancer Treatment For Childhood Leukemias?

Kathi J. Kemper, M.D., Wake

Question: Are there any alternative approaches to conventional cancer treatment for childhood leukemias?

Answer:Fortunately, due to advances in medical research, childhood leukemias are curable over 80 percent of the time now with conventional therapies. There are no alternative remedies that are proven to prevent or cure childhood leukemia. So parents should definitely see their pediatric oncologist if their child is diagnosed with leukemia.

That said, there are many natural therapies, including a healthy lifestyle, that can help support the child and the family while they're recovering from leukemia. So, paying attention again to a healthy diet, making sure the child has enough sleep, that they get adequate rest, that they get outside to play, that they have those positive relationships, nurturing, warm, loving relationships.

And I think it's particularly important when a family's dealing with a child who has cancer that the parents pay attention to their own health and well-being and take the steps they need to manage their own stress and keep their stress levels down so that they can really be calm and minimize their own anxiety or fears when they're dealing with their child, so they can support their child's confidence and hope in their therapies and their eventual outcome.