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Complementary and Alternative Therapies
This section of the ped-onc site has two main categories:
Complementary therapies to conventional cancer treatment, or CT. These therapies are outside the practices of most conventional physcians, but are generally recognized as safe to use along with chemotherapy and radiation. CT can improve the quality of life of the patient, and include therapies like art and music therapy, meditation, reiki, yoga, aromatherapy, and also nutrition and vitamin supplements.
Complementary and alternative therapies, or CAM. These therapies are outside the practices of most conventional physicians and their value has not yet been established in scientific journals - although this is slowly changing. Parents of children with cancer might persue an alternative therapy route if conventional therapy has failed or a proven therapy is not available. Another reason parents might be interested in an alternative therapy is if a friend or relative tells them about a specific alternative therapy that they "just must use!" for their child.
- ped-onc page on CAM links to 3 more pages, one on some of the alternative therapies, one on some of the important names in alternative therapies, and one on important web sites that cover CAM therapies
The following links are pertinent to both CT and CAM and you will see them repeated several times in these pages because I consider them very important.
- About Herbs, Botanicals & Other Products. Great new reference from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer center. (PF, 2014)
- Steve Dunn's CancerGuide on Alternative Therapies
- Note: See my book review of a 2008 resource (by Jonathan Chamberlain) on Steve Dunn's Alternative Books page.
- Steven Barrett's Quack watch on cancer therapies
- National Council for Complementary and Alternative Medicine
- Complementary and alternative medicine searchable database of journal articles on PubMed
- Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center About Herbs, Botanicals and Other Products
Article in Pediatric Blood and Cancer, 2014:
- Differences in use of complementary and alternative medicine between children and adolescents with cancer in Germany: A population based survey. Sven Gottschling et al., Pediatric Blood & Cancer Volume 61, Issue 3, pages 488–492, March 2014. Abstract.
Article in Pediatric Blood and Cancer, 2011:
- Complementary and alternative therapy use in pediatric oncology patients with failure of frontline chemotherapy. Margot A. Paisley et al., Pediatric Blood & Cancer Volume 56, Issue 7, pages 1088–1091, 1 July 2011. Abstract. "Understanding usage patterns may better help pediatric oncologists and palliative-care specialists address the needs of this population, and protect against potentially dangerous drug interactions or side effects from combined CAM and chemotherapy use."
Article in Pediatric Blood and Cancer, 2005:
- Use of alternative and complementary therapies in children with cancer. Martel D, Bussieres JF, Theoret Y, Lebel D, Kish S, Moghrabi A, Laurier C. Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2005 Jun 15;44(7):660-8. PubMed Abstract.
On the cancer.net web site (was People Living With Cancer web site):
An article on OncoNurse about complementary and alternative therapies. It is thoughtful and informative, and while not cancer-specific, it is nevertheless relevant reading.
- Complementary and Alternative Medicine on Onconurse.com (2001)
Do herbs, vitamins, and antioxidants adversely affect cancer therapies?