Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) refers to a group of diverse medical and healthcare systems, practices, and products not currently considered as conventional medicine. This line of division has been subject to criticism, however, as not all forms of standard medical practice have adequately demonstrated evidence of benefit, n 4 87 88 and it is also unlikely in most instances that conventional therapies, if proven to be ineffective, would ever be classified as CAM.
Even though we know from the Gonzalez trial that patients with pancreatic cancer still do much worse, dying faster and suffering more, than those treated with conventional medicine, such a difference would be unlikely to show up in a database study like this.
The program began in 1973 and consists of cancer registries all over the country that enter data regarding cancer outcomes in a standardized format, which includes patient demographics, primary tumor site, tumor morphology and stage at diagnosis, first course of treatment, and follow-up for vital status.
There are, however, two exceptions: Babies who are exclusively breast-fed should receive 400 international units a day of supplemental Vitamin D, because it isn’t contained in human milk and because they don’t get out into the sun much; and adults older than 65 should receive 800 units daily because this has been shown to reduce the high risk of bone fractures.
And lastly sic there’s the cynicism and disappointment and depression that some patients get from going on from one alternative medicine to the next, and they find after three months the placebo effect wears off, and they’re disappointed and they move on to the next one, and they’re disappointed and disillusioned, and that can create depression and make the eventual treatment of the patient with anything effective difficult, because you may not get compliance, because they’ve seen the failure so often in the past.