Thursday, 22 September 2016

Alternative Medicine

Alternative Medicine

Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is a term used to describe many kinds of products, practices, and systems that are not part of standard medical care. Alternative cancer treatments may not play a direct role in curing cancer, but they are able to help the patient manage the signs and symptoms caused by cancer and cancer treatments such as anxiety, fatigue, nausea and vomiting, pain, difficulty sleeping, and stress. Some  complementary and alternative medicine therapies have undergone careful evaluation and have found to be safe and effective, but there are others that have been found to be ineffective or sometimes harmful.
Complementary and alternative medicine therapies include a big variety of herbs and nutritional products, such as herbal supplements, dietary supplements, and also vitamins. A lot of these natural products are considered to be safe because they are present in nature, but this is not true in all cases. In fact, herbal supplements may be harmful when taken by themselves, with other substances, or in large doses. Patients with cancer who replace mainstream cancer treatments by alternative medicine instead may be putting themselves at serious risk and interruptions in standard treatment can give the cancer more time to grow. Actually, there is less high quality and objective information about complementary and alternative methods than about mainstream treatments, this might be one of the reasons that it is sometimes impossible to say much about whether a complementary method is likely to help the patient or not, or even how safe it might be. Patients have to learn about the risks and benefits of each therapy before they use it and have to speak to their doctors about it to find out about possible interactions with mainstream treatments, the doctor can refer the patient to someone who is reliable and trusted if the patient needs a practitioner for the non mainstream treatment. Still, patients should never give up a proven treatment for one that has been disproven as they should watch out for signs of fraud or misleading claims.
Most complementary and alternative methods have not been tested for safety in women who are pregnant or breastfeeding effects on a fetus or nursing child are mostly unknown. Many people with cancer use one or more kinds of alternative or complementary therapies. And they often don’t tell their doctors about these decisions. The best approach is to look carefully at your choices. Talk to your doctor about any method you are using or thinking about trying.

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