Cancer patients who use alternative medicine more than twice as likely to die. I’m going to concentrate first on patients who refused or delayed surgery, for the simple reason that surgery is what is curative for breast cancer and differences in survival due to adjuvant therapy can be as low as the single digit percentages, depending upon the stage of the cancer.
Integrative medicine draws from both complementary medicine and alternative medicine and combines these with traditional Western therapies, says Donald Abrams, MD, director of clinical programs for the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco.
In the same way as for conventional therapies, drugs, and interventions, it can be difficult to test the efficacy of alternative medicine in clinical trials In instances where an established, effective, treatment for a condition is already available, the Helsinki Declaration states that withholding such treatment is unethical in most circumstances.
We might expect that it probably doesn’t, at least when used as the strict, integrative medicine”-approved definition of unconventional therapies used in addition to conventional medicine is followed. To prove their slogan of the voice of integrative medicine,” ACAM has its own blog to help inform the public about this type of practice.
Other studies have looked at CAM in cancer patients, with mixed and mostly unfavorable results. These treatments can be used in addition to the care their child is receiving from their pediatrician or other mainstream practitioner, even when they’re happy with this traditional care.