Q: Dr. Power, I am sending this to ask about essential oil treatment for breast cancer. My wife who is 43 years old is fighting stage four breast cancer. She has exhausted all chemo drugs that are available over the last seven years and has been told that she is not a candidate for any experimental drugs. The cancer is in her liver and she is starting to retain water due to the loss of liver function. Any information that you might have would be appreciated.
A: I appreciate what a difficult time this is for you and your wife. Essential oils have been used by aromatherapists to help ease some of the symptoms that cancer patients experience but unfortunately they do not provide any direct treatment of the cancer itself.
Since it sounds from your letter that your wife has run out of conventional treatment options, you may want to discuss non-conventional options with her physician. I do not recommend that anyone with cancer leave the care of their physician. Even when conventional treatments have been exhausted it is important to continue working with a qualified oncologist. However, there are an increasing number of "holistic" physicians who are knowledgeable about herbal alternative and you may want to see if you can consult with such a physician in your area.
Finally, essential oils can be very helpful to some people for feelings of anxiety and depression (Neroli & Lavender), nausea (Peppermint), Radiation Burns (Lavender) and other cancer related symptoms.