What may help

Weigh it up

The Cancer Council NSW advises you consider the likely benefits and side-effects, possible negative interactions with conventional medicine, the credentials of the practitioner and the cumulative costs of treatment.

Talk to your Doctor

You may think your doctor would resist the idea of non-conventional therapies. In fact, many see value in complementary medicines and advise their patients to use them.

General questions to ask your doctor about complementary therapies:

  • Are you familiar with complementary therapies or medicines?
  • Are you qualified in complementary therapies yourself?
  • Are there any complementary therapies that you think might benefit me?
  • Would you be happy for me to use complementary therapies?
  • Would you be willing to guide me in my research or choice of complementary therapies?
  • Would you be willing to talk to my complementary therapists about my case?
  • Can you recommend any complementary therapists to me?
  • Do you know whether the complementary medicines I am taking or wish to take will interfere with my chemotherapy or other conventional treatments?

Whether you are acting on your doctor's advice or not, it is important for them to know what medicines or therapies you are using, in case of a potentially dangerous interation with your regular medicine.

Return to CareSearch pages
Print options


Life, Hope & Reality was developed and written by Afaf Girgis, Claire Johnson, and Sylvie Lambert with funding from the NHMRC and Cancer Council NSW.

Last updated 30 August 2015