Integrative Oncology: Managing Cancer Pain With Complementary and Alternative Therapies


Current Pain and Headache Reports




For the projected 1,638,910 patients with a diagnosis of cancer this year, the great majority of them (75-90 %) will experience cancer-related pain. A growing number of these patients will turn to complementary and alternative therapies to assist with the management of their pain and other cancer-related symptoms. The World Health Organization's suggested approach to pain management begins with the use of time honored opioids, but recommends the use of adjuvant therapies early in the management process. Complementary and alternative therapies are being used by more patients each year to assist with the management of their pain. Practitioners and researchers must be aware of the evidence that exists to support or refute the use of these therapies. In this manuscript we review evidence from the recent past on complementary and alternative therapies for pain with emphasis on more common modalities including acupuncture, bio-energy, massage, and music.

Music and Health Institute Terms

Cancer; Music Listening; Music Medicine; Pain; Pain Management and Control; Pain Score or Rating; Recorded Music Listening; Self-Report Measures

Indexed Terms

Acupuncture Therapy; Anxiety; Combined Modality Therapy; Complementary Therapies; Evidence-Based Medicine; Holistic Health; Massage; Meditation; Neoplasms; Pain; Pain Management; Patient Selection

Study Type

Editorials, Opinions, Position Papers

PubMed ID


Document Type