Integrative medical approach

Hi, For a variety of reasons I’ve found it necessary to work with a wonderful Integrative Medical Practitioner after having my lumpectomy last November. I wondered if there is a discussion area or thread for people who have gone outside the NHS for cancer treatment and also if a linkup through Someone Like Me, with someone else choosing this path, is offered

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Hi, you might be interested in this article by the British Acupuncture Council: Acupuncture in cancer care - BAcC


I am having acupuncture for side effects of Letrozole and also for the hot flushes and night sweats. Honestly, it depends on the acupuncturist if you have a good rapport it somehow works but the one I am with now it somehow doesn’t work so I am thinking about stopping it. It’s very expensive as well you can have it at the multibed centres but I haven’t tried it.

Also I did homeopathy with NCIM and again was left a bit underwhelmed as everything that the homeopath was talking about was how our choices are the reason behind the cancer diagnosis…yeah, could you believe that… I haven’t smoked or drank alcohol but the fact for her was the western diet the junk food the sugar everything was my fault or it felt like that…sorry but I am not becoming a vegan to ‘cure’ myself of cancer so yeah…

As a scientist I kept an open mind but honestly, you need to be very careful with the treatment you want to have…double check if they’ve got all the credentials, licenses, etc… just try it but for me it didn’t work. I am still experienced joint pain and hot flushes and yes, the old good paracetamol helps…

Take care. Xx

I agree it depends who you are ( acupuncturist). I’m also on Letrozole and acupuncture helped me enormously. Happy to recommend mine if you live in/ near London. He worked at Breast Cancer Haven for 20 odd years before they closed so knows what he’s doing! He now runs clinics every few months as he flits between the UK and US.

Hi, thanks for the info. Unfortunately, I don’t live in London. How often do you have acupuncture per month? I am finding it not very helpful at the moment. My knees are killing me and I am not getting any relief after the sessions…when you are saying it helped you enourmously when did you start noticing changes? Maybe I have to give it more time…not sure as the lady I am going to is very opinionated and never listens to me…it’s just so unfortunate that the acupuncturist at the centre where I had my chemo can’t do it any longer…honestly, I am at my wits end about what to do…the joint pain is so bad that I am thinking switching to Tamoxifen…

Take care. Xx

I’m so sorry to hear this - and that your acupuncturist is so unsympathetic! You could try finding another one - the same organisation has a list of registered acupuncturists so hopefully there will be one near you.

Or ask at your nearest MacMillan or Maggie’s centre?

Wishing you all the best with your search but such a shame we have to be so persistent.

Hi, I have been changed from Letrozole to tamoxifen because it has a more gentle action of simply blocking the effect of oestrogen on cancer cells rather than stopping its production. I found I was nauseous on the Letrozole and just didn’t feel good. (I have to be extra vigilant as I have long covid and that can strongly affect how my body now responds to medication, along with everything else!) I’m very happy on tamoxifen and wonder if it could be a very positive switch for you but I’d imagine that it could take a while to rebalance itself, depending on how long you’ve been taking the Letrozole, Is there a reason you’re choosing to stay on the Letrozole? I hope you get some relief soon, one way or another, continual pain like that is so depleting. Xxx

Hi saffron1,

Thank you for posting and asking if there is anywhere that you can connect with others who have used integrative medicine.

Talking to someone who has had a similar experience can often be helpful. Our Someone Like Me service can match you with a trained volunteer who’s had a similar experience to you and does include volunteers who have used complementary therapies. You can be in touch with your volunteer by phone or email and they can share their personal experiences to answer your questions, offer support or simply listen to how you are feeling.

You can ring the Someone Like Me team on 0114 263 6490 or email them at, so they can then match you to your volunteer.

We also provide an online peer-to-peer support forum. The forums are message boards where people affected by breast cancer and breast health concerns can learn from other people’s experiences including complementary therapies and share their own if they wish to.

You can read the forums without registering. If you would like to join a discussion or start your own, you can use this link to register.

@mun4o and @TW142 both discuss the use of acupuncture to help relieve joint pain as a side effect of hormone treatment and many people use complementary therapies to help with side effects. Our information on managing the side effects of hormone treatment may also be helpful.

Future dreams is a support centre that provides complementary therapies for those diagnosed with breast cancer that you may also find a useful resource. Depending on where you live in the country you may also find the Maggies Centre or Penny Brohn charity useful.

Do call our helpline if you would like to talk this through or have any further questions. The helpline team have time to listen, talk things through and signpost you to more support and information if necessary. Your call will be confidential, and the number is free from UK landlines and all mobile networks. The number is 0808 800 6000, (Relay UK -prefix 18001).

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Out of hours you can leave a message and we will call you back when we next open.

Best wishes


Breast Care Nurse

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