The University of Michigan is committed to the thoughtful and compassionate combination of complementary therapies and conventional medicine through the activities of research, education, clinical services and community partnerships. While the FTC stepped in last year to plug a regulatory hole in homeopathic labeling, the legalese used by vitamin and supplement makers is confusing to consumers who read the large type on bottles and think their flu symptoms will be alleviated or, worse, that chelation cures cancer.
Increasing the funding for research on alternative medicine techniques is the purpose of the US National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine NCCIH and its predecessor, the Office of Alternative Medicine, have spent more than $2.5 billion on such research since 1992; this research has largely not demonstrated the efficacy of alternative treatments.
We became interested in this topic after seeing too many patients present in our clinics with advanced cancers that were treated with ineffective and unproven alternative therapies alone,” said the study’s senior author, Dr. James B. Yu, associate professor of therapeutic radiology at Yale Cancer Center.
Those who skipped or delayed conventional treatment to use alternative ones had as much as a 5.7-fold increased risk of dying within five years than those who stuck with conventional medicine, the researchers reported in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) has been described as a broad domain of healing resources that encompasses all health systems, modalities, and practices and their accompanying theories and beliefs, other than those intrinsic to the politically dominant health system of a particular society or culture in a given historical period.