Complementary and alternative therapies
Complementary and alternative therapies (Salem Health: Cancer)
Differences between complementary and alternative medicine: Complementary medicine is used along with conventional medicine. Conventional medicine includes allopathic (medical doctor, M.D.) and osteopathic (doctor of osteopathy, D.O.) medicine. Allied conventional health professionals include nurses, respiratory therapists, and psychologists. Examples of complementary therapies include using aromatherapy or massage to lessen discomfort following surgery or chemotherapy.
Alternative medicine is used instead of conventional medicine. Treating cancer with the compound containing amygdalin (trademark Laetrile) in place of undergoing surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy is an example of an alternative therapy. Little reliable evidence exists for Laetrile’s efficacy as a cancer drug, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not approved the use of this compound for cancer treatment.
The NCCAM, part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), defines integrative medicine as a combination of mainstream medicine and those parts of complementary and alternative medicine that have high-quality scientific evidence of safety and effectiveness.
The NIH has placed complementary and alternative medicine modalities into five major categories: alternative medical systems, biologically based therapies, manipulative and body-based methods, mind-body interventions, and energy therapies. These provide a useful framework for...
(The entire section is 1783 words.)
For Further Information (Salem Health: Cancer)
Keegan, L. Healing with Complementary and Alternative Therapies. Albany, N.Y.: Delmar, 2001.
Peters, David, and Anne Woodham. Encyclopedia of Natural Healing. London: Dorling Kindersley, 2000.
Zhang, Qunhao. “Complementary and Alternative Medicine in the United States.” Asia Pacific Biotech News 8, no. 23 (December 1, 2004): 1274-1277.
(The entire section is 41 words.)
Other Resources (Salem Health: Cancer)
MayoClinic.com. Complementary and Alternative Medicine. http://mayoclinic.com/health/alternative-medicine/PN00001
National Cancer Institute. Complementary and Alternative Medicine. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/treatment/cam
National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. http://nccam.nih.gov
(The entire section is 37 words.)