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Complementary and alternative medicine: The perspective of a medical oncologist


Lowenthal, R, Complementary and alternative medicine: The perspective of a medical oncologist, Perspectives on Complementary and Alternative Medicines, Imperial College Press, Olver I and Robotin M (ed), London, pp. 291-304. ISBN 978-1-84816-556-4 (2012) [Other Book Chapter]

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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.

Item Details

Item Type:Other Book Chapter
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Cardiovascular medicine and haematology
Research Field:Haematology
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Clinical health
Objective Field:Clinical health not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Lowenthal, R (Professor Ray Lowenthal)
ID Code:85221
Year Published:2012
Deposited By:Research Division
Deposited On:2013-06-19
Last Modified:2013-06-22

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