Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience. By about 1990, the American alternative medicine industry had grown to a $27 billion per year, with polls showing 30% of Americans were using it. 129 133 Moreover, polls showed that Americans made more visits for alternative therapies than the total number of visits to primary care doctors, and American out-of-pocket spending (non-insurance spending) on alternative medicine was about equal to spending on biomedical doctors.
In a nonscientific study of this reporter’s Facebook page, friends and colleagues said they took fish oil supplements to avoid having to take cholesterol medication or because their father who had heart problems did or because they had read that it could help.
There is a surprising paucity of evidence regarding whether the use of CAM in addition to conventional therapy has an adverse effect on cancer survival, but the evidence that we do have is very clear on at least one thing: CAM does not improve cancer survival.
Even the softer” endpoints used to assess the effectiveness of cancer treatments tend to be much harder than for most other diseases, such as progression-free survival (the cancer either progresses after treatment or it does not) or recurrence-free survival (a cancer either recurs after treatment eliminates it, or it doesn’t).
There are 50 institutions around the country that have integrative in their name, at places like Harvard , Stanford , Duke , and the Mayo Clinic Most of them offer treatments like acupuncture, massage, and nutrition counseling, along with conventional drugs and surgery.