Managing Treatments

Environmentally Friendly Cancer Treatment: 5 Ways to Go Green

You can make eco-friendly choices to protect yourself and the planet as you go through cancer treatment.

More and more people are becoming conscious of how their daily choices and actions affect the environment. As you go through cancer treatment, you already face exposure to certain chemicals. Although you may not have much control over your therapies or their impacts, you can make green choices when managing side effects or personal care.

Try these five environmentally friendly cancer treatment ideas as you go through your journey.

Choose Natural and Organic Fibers for Clothing or Headscarves

It’s becoming easier to find clothing and headscarves made from sustainable sources like organic cotton or materials free of harsh dyes and chemicals. You can opt for cancer clothing, bras, chemo caps and scarves made from bamboo fabrics, the latest in environmentally friendly clothing trends.

Eat Local and in Season

Many foods travel a long way to the grocery store, or go through processes that create pollution. Eating local, in-season foods, such as those from a farmer’s market, lowers your carbon footprint, supports your local farmers and keeps you healthy. Look for ways to get immune boosting foods from a local butcher, neighbors or a community co-op if your treatment falls outside of the farmer’s market season.

Use Natural Cleaning Products

As you go through cancer treatment, you’ll probably find that you’re disinfecting or cleaning your home a lot more. Many cleaning products contain harsh chemicals that are not only bad for the environment, but can also pose health risks. Look for brand names or store brands that are free of harsh chemicals, or make your own cleaners. Vinegar, baking soda and lemon juice makes a safe all-purpose cleaner. Essential oils, such as thyme oil, also work as disinfectants, with similar efficacy and a lower toxicity level than bleach, according to the EPA.

Try Non-Toxic Skin Care and Beauty Products

As with cleaners, makeup and lotions can contain chemicals that increase your risk of cancer or other illnesses. Cancer treatment can lead to dry skin or other problems that mean you’ll want more creams, lotions and sun protection. It can be a little messy, but rubbing coconut oil into dry, cracked skin is an easy way to moisturize. You can also look for natural, non-toxic, environmentally friendly brands of makeup and skin care products, such as this list from Bustle.

Opt for Natural Remedies to Manage Treatment Side Effects

Many patients find that they don’t want to take more medications to manage the side effects of treatment, leading to increased popularity of complementary therapies. These therapies also tend to be environmentally friendly cancer treatment ideas as well. Think of acupuncture to address nausea, aromatherapy for stress, or yoga to combat fatigue.

As you go through cancer treatment, you can make choices that keep you and the planet healthy. Be sure to talk to your doctor before incorporating natural remedies or supplements into your regimen to ensure they won’t negatively interact with your treatments.

Before using natural products or supplements, check with your doctor to ensure they're safe and won't interact with your treatment.

Learn More
Patricia Chaney
Patricia Chaney