How do integrative experts manage neurological symptoms?

Both medical groups and integrative experts provide recommendations for managing neurological symptoms. Learn more about the approaches and meanings of recommendations.

Clinical practice guidelines

Recommends acupuncture as an adjunct therapy for treating peripheral neuropathy (weak recommendation)

Strongly recommend against use of acetyl-l-carnitine for the prevention of CIPN in people with cancer

Several further therapies are listed as having insufficient evidence for recommending use for treating CIPN. See the list in Are you a health professional? ›

These practices and therapies are listed for treating neuropathic pain:

Sharing Love and Support (psychosocial support)

Acupuncture

Cold or heat

Hypnosis

Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS)

Society for Integrative Oncology

Two guidelines discuss managing neuropathy among people with cancer.

Clinical practice guidelines on the evidence-based use of integrative therapies during and after breast cancer treatment › This set of guidelines has been endorsed by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO).1Lyman GH, Greenlee H et al. Integrative therapies during and after breast cancer treatment: ASCO endorsement of the SIO clinical practice guideline. Journal of Clinical Oncology. 2018 Sep 1;36(25):2647-2655.

These guidelines recommend against using acetyl-L-carnitine: “should not be recommended for prevention of neuropathy in breast cancer patients due to harm.”

These therapies were reviewed, but were judged to have insufficient evidence to recommend for treating neuropathy:

Acupuncture

Omega-3 fatty acids

Vitamin E

Evidence-based clinical practice guidelines for integrative oncology: complementary therapies and botanicals ›

A trial of acupuncture may be helpful for treating chemotherapy-induced neuropathy (weak recommendation).

Integrative programs and protocols

These protocols, programs, and approaches by leaders in integrative cancer care provide guidance for managing neurological symptoms.

We do not recommend specific integrative protocols or programs but provide information for you to evaluate with your healthcare team.

Lise Alschuler, ND, FABNO, and Karolyn Gazella

Approaches are described for certain cancer types, or along with certain conventional therapy treatments, or for particular conditions including neuropathy.

Keith Block, MD

Block KI. Life over Cancer: The Block Center Program for Integrative Cancer Care. New York: Bantam Dell. 2009.

The integrative Block Program has recommendations to people who are at different places along the cancer continuum:

  • Those who’ve been recently diagnosed
  • Those in treatment
  • Those who’ve concluded treatment and need to remain vigilant to prevent recurrence

Gerald M. Lemole, MD; Pallav K. Mehta, MD; and Dwight L. McKee, MD

Lemole GM, Mehta PK, McKee DL. After Cancer Care: The Definitive Self-Care Guide to Getting and Staying Well for Patients with Cancer. New York, New York: Rodale, Inc. 2015.

These doctors present easy-to-incorporate lifestyle changes to help you “turn on” hundreds of genes that fight cancer, and “turn off” the ones that encourage cancer, while recommending lifestyle approaches to address each type.

Neil McKinney, BSc, ND

McKinney N. Naturopathic Oncology, Fourth Edition. Victoria, BC, Canada: Liaison Press. 2020.

This book includes descriptions and uses of many natural and complementary protocols for cancer in general and for specific cancers. It also includes information on integrative support during conventional cancer treatment.

Gurdev Parmar, ND, FABNO, and Tina Kaczor, ND, FABNO

Parmar G, Kaczor T. Textbook of Naturopathic Oncology: A Desktop Guide of Integrative Cancer Care. 1st edition. Medicatrix Holdings Ltd. 2020.

This book provides information on the treatment of 24 cancers, plus the most effective treatments of the most common symptoms affecting cancer patients while they undergo chemotherapy, radiotherapy, or surgery.

Traditional medicine

Practitioners of Ayurveda and traditional Chinese medicine offer therapies and approaches to manage neurological symptoms.

Learn more about traditional medicine and how to find practitioners.

Authors

Nancy Hepp, MS

Lead Researcher and Program Manager
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Ms. Hepp is a researcher and communicator who has been writing and editing educational content on varied health topics for more than 20 years. She serves as lead researcher, program manager, and writer for CancerChoices. Her graduate work in research and cognitive psychology, her master’s degree in instructional design, and her certificate in web design have all guided her in writing and presenting information for a wide variety of audiences and uses. Nancy’s service as faculty development coordinator in the Department of Family Medicine at Wright State University also provided experience in medical research, plus insights into medical education and medical care from the professional’s perspective.

Nancy Hepp, MS Lead Researcher and Program Manager

Laura Pole, RN, MSN, OCNS

Senior Clinical Consultant
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Laura Pole is senior clinical consultant for CancerChoices. Laura is an oncology clinical nurse specialist who has been providing integrative oncology clinical care, navigation, consultation, and education services for over 40 years. She is the co-creator and co-coordinator of the Integrative Oncology Navigation Training at Smith Center for Healing and the Arts in Washington, DC. Laura also manages the “Media Watch Cancer News That You Can Use” listserv for Smith Center/Commonweal. In her role as a palliative care educator and consultant, Laura has served as statewide Respecting Choices Faculty for the Virginia POST (Physician Orders for Scope of Treatment) Collaborative as well as provided statewide professional education on palliative and end-of-life care for the Virginia Association for Hospices and Palliative Care.

For CancerChoices, Laura curates content and research, networks with clinical and organizational partners, brings awareness and education of integrative oncology at professional and patient conferences and programs, and translates research into information relevant to the patient experience as well as clinical practice.

Laura sees her work with CancerChoices as a perfect alignment of all her passions, knowledge and skills in integrative oncology care. She is honored to serve you.

Laura Pole, RN, MSN, OCNS Senior Clinical Consultant

Reviewer

Sarah Soles, ND

Naturopathic physician
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Dr. Sarah Soles completed her naturopathic medical training at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine. During her internship on the adjunctive cancer care shift, she learned the immense value of combining naturopathic approaches with conventional cancer treatments. Dr. Soles went on to complete a two-year residency in naturopathic cancer care at the Integrated Health Clinic. She continues to help patients in all stages of their cancer journey—from screening and prevention to active treatment or maintaining a remission. She is also the research director for the Knowledge in Naturopathic Oncology Website and a contributing author to the Textbook of Naturopathic Oncology: A Desktop Guide to Integrative Cancer Care.

Sarah Soles, ND Naturopathic physician

Last update: March 26, 2023

Last full literature review: April 2022

CancerChoices provides information about integrativein cancer care, a patient-centered approach combining the best of conventional care, self care, and evidence-informed complementary care in an integrated plan cancer care. We review complementaryin cancer care, complementary care involves the use of therapies intended to enhance or add to standard conventional treatments; examples include supplements, mind-body approaches such as yoga or psychosocialtherapy, and acupuncture therapies and self carelifestyle actions and behaviors that may impact cancer outcomes; examples include eating health-promoting foods, limiting alcohol, increasing physical activity, and managing stress practices to help patients and professionals explore and integrate the best combination of conventionalthe cancer care offered by conventionally trained physicians and most hospitals; examples are chemotherapy, surgery, and radiotherapy and complementary therapies and practices for each person.

Our staff have no financial conflicts of interest to declare. We receive no funds from any manufacturers or retailers gaining financial profit by promoting or discouraging therapies mentioned on this site.

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