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Complementary and alternative medicine: The perspective of a medical oncologist

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posted on 2023-05-22, 21:19 authored by Raymond Lowenthal
Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) treatments for cancer have become popular in recent years, but in general do not have the support of the medical profession. The main reason for this lack of support is the paucity or absence of high-quality scientific evidence of their efficacy and safety. Furthermore, the use of CAM is often based on premises that are open to question, such as: Is everything natural harmless? What constitutes evidence? Can the mind control cancer? Are vitamins risk-free? Can boosting the immune system control cancer? Can dietary changes influence cancer outcome? These and other pertinent issues relating to CAM are explored. Despite caveats that arise from questioning CAM in this way, some forms seem indeed to be safe and may be helpful as complementary, but not as alternative, treatments; they include meditation, massage and music therapy. The development of 'integrated cancer centres' that offer certain types of CAM based on evidence, along with standard scientifically proven anticancer treatments, is welcomed.

History

Publication title

Perspectives on Complementary and Alternative Medicines

Editors

Olver I and Robotin M

Pagination

291-304

ISBN

978-1-84816-556-4

Department/School

Menzies Institute for Medical Research

Publisher

Imperial College Press

Place of publication

London

Extent

22

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Clinical health not elsewhere classified

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