Topic: Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM)

Hi, most of the following information are from uptodate.com/patients .
Additional info.is available through cancer.gov/cancerinfo/treatment/cam.
Alternative medical systems  such as:
1.Acupuncture with electrical stimulation has been found to be useful in treating nausea and vomiting from chemotheraphy.
2.Hypnosis  -studies have suggested it may be useful for controlling pain;nausea and vomiting prior to chemotherapy(anticipatory emesis).
3.Spirituality-studies have shown that religious involvement and spirituality are associated with better health outcomes,including long life and low anxiety.
4.Massage therapy-a study done by Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center of 1,290 patients found that pain,anxiety,fatigue and nausea decreased by 50% in patients who received massage,benefits lasting upto 48hours.
Alternative cancer treatments (ACTs)such as:
1..Dietary treatments such as Gerson regimen and Kelley-Gonzalez regimen etc did not show convincing evidence significantly prolong the life of cancer patients.
2.Selected vegetables -in 2  small studies,patients received traditional medical treatments as well as the Sun's soup improved survival; but the studies were small and had weaknesses in study design,further studies is needed.
3.Herbal medicine such as green tea,essiac,ginseng,mistletoe and St.John's wort.none of these herbals have proven to cure or improve cancer in reliable clinical studies;Survival was improved with sho-saiko-to (a chinese herbal mixture) in chronic hepatitis patients who are HBsAg negative.
4.Nonherbal supplements such as melatonin,shark and bovine cartilage, hydrazine,thymus extracts failed to demonstrate positive impact of survival.
In a double-blind  study of breast cancer patients,there was no benefit from the use of coenzyme Q in self- reported cancer treatment-related fatigue.
the antitumor efficacy of shiitake mushroom extract was tested in an open-label study for 62 men with prostate cancer for 6 months and was concluded by the authors that the extract alone was ineffective.There was also no credible evidence to support lycopene intake may reduce the risk of cancer.
High dose of  intravenous vitamin C is widely used by practitioners of CAM for the belief that antioxidant such as vitamin C can prevent cancer and retarding the oxidative damage done by free radicals; however there is little evidence to support an important role for vitamin C in cancer prevention.
General recommendations by uptodate.com are:
Get reliable information through your healthcare team(doctor,nurse, dietitian, pharmacist) and government-sponsored web-sites about the safety,risks and benefits of the CAM treatment and choose the person providing CAM with care;
The safety of CAM treatments should  always be considered. And being "natural" does not mean that a product or treatment is safe.
I hope the info. helps.

Online

Please know that my personal opinion is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. If  provided, information are for educational purposes.Consult doctor is a MUST for changing of treatment plans.

Re: Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM)

Indeed it does help.  Thanks for posting this.
All my best,
Marion

THIS INFORMATION IS NOT INTENDED NOR IMPLIED TO BE A SUBSTITUTE FOR PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE. YOU SHOULD ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF YOUR PHYSICIAN OR OTHER QUALIFIED HEALTH CARE PROVIDER

3 (edited by PCL1029 Sat, 23 Apr 2011 10:56:04)

Re: Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM)

Hi,
As always, this for your information only;consult medical professionals first.
It is  dangerous to try to practice alternative medicine base on knowledge  alone without using professional guidance.
I have difficulty to find" Chinese Character" of each Chinese herbal medicine that is listed in English. That is very important to differentiate  the actual species of the plants used for the herbal formula. So you need to identify the correct one before even to read about each herbs.
The following website will provide names of herbals in both Chinese and English;also they will teach you how to pronounce the herbal in Chinese or Japanese or Koren languages.They also  provide good  drug information in both Chinese and English;such as the indication,dosage and their side effects.
It is by far one of the best web sites I have found to provide me  a better  and comprehensive knowledge ;it provide much detail info.on herbal formulas  than I expected.
The most benefit  I think about using Chinese herbal medicine is that ,it will complement your treatment and reduce the harsh  side effects that  chemo produced in the body(fatigue,nausea and vomiting shortness of breath,pain) Because Chinese herbal medicine is based on  to treat the WHOLE BODY  first and not the symptoms ALONE. (ie : if you feel shortness of breath ,the practitioner will add ingredients to help you on breathing better ;next visit if you feel very fatigue,he/she will add other herbal ingredients to increase your energy to the MAIN  herbal formula specific designed for your tumor situation;that is why you need to show the practitioner your tongue;your face and eye ;tell him/her about your bowel movements- how often and loose or constipated;urine color,quantity,your appetite; any sleeping ,depressing and pain problems also should be addressed at time of visit.A good and experienced practitioner will change herbals for each problems you mentioned to the Main CC formula.This is the  reason (to treat the whole body) that I  believe in using herbs.
That is why the most IMPORTANT  way to use Chinese herbal medicine is to find a good and experienced Chinese Herbal Medicine Practitioner;They are much easier to find now if you live in the big cities in like New York,San Francisco,LA Chicago in the States;Toronto and Vancouver in Canada;London in UK & Sidney in AU.Most of them are not expensive and each visit with herbs provided may be less than 10 US dollars/day;The practitioner may give you a 3-4 days supply of herbs and ask you to come back  every week or 1-2week to follow up on the effectiveness of the treatment.
For patients who gave up the traditional chemo treatment,this may be a reasonable choice in addition to hospice.And if you want to try it out while you are on chemo,I suggest you should try it only on your chemo off weeks  if you did not consult your doctors first.
If you are interested to use  Chinese herbal medicine  to complement your treatment.Equip yourself with  basic knowledge  about Chinese herbal medicines that are related to CC first, then go to find a good practitioner to help you in using them;there are  only about 15-20 of them that use mainly for CC.
Some herbs that used for treating CC are Scutellariae baicalensis; Oldenlandia diffusa;Paeonia lactiflora;Scutellria rivularis;Rehmannia glutinosa;Poria
cocos;Forsythia suspensa;Glycyrrhiza uralensis;Bupleurum chinense;Zizyphus jujuba;Prunus persica;Cordyceps sinesis and others.
The wed site is:
www.alternativehealing.org
God bless.

Please know that my personal opinion is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. If  provided, information are for educational purposes.Consult doctor is a MUST for changing of treatment plans.

Re: Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM)

Thanks for this PCL.

Best wishes,

Gavin

Any advice or comments I give are based on personal experiences and knowledge and are my opinions only, they are not to be substituted for professional medical advice. Please seek professional advice from a qualified doctor or medical professional.

Re: Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM)

HI, Gavin,
You are welcome.
Thanks for your help for all the herbal web sites listings that provided by you.
Otherwise It will take longer for me to work on the info.
God bless.

Please know that my personal opinion is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. If  provided, information are for educational purposes.Consult doctor is a MUST for changing of treatment plans.

6 (edited by PCL1029 Tue, 31 May 2011 14:00:20)

Re: Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM)

Hi,
The first message on this forum about CAM is much  in-sync  with the view about "alternative medicine" by current physicians while I attended the DDW 5/2011 conference.
It will be a long time before FDA can provide the same kind of review and approval of dietary supplements for their claims(ie.milk thistle  or melatonin improve liver function etc.;same as for most of the vitamins and minerals.)
FDA official Dr.Leonard Seeff spoke on his own,( but not for FDA),indicated that The Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994  stated that the manufacturers are responsible for the labeling of the products,such as the ingredients,net contents and nutritional information ONLY but not the unproven claims . So that  buyers should  be aware that dietary supplement and the like are not drugs; and they are not regulated by FDA as drugs.
There have been  significant liver  or other  organ injury risk reported to FDA (ie.  hydroxycab and 16 others just to  name a few).
He also mentioned it is difficult to evaluate each herb in the herbal  formulations (ie. in the form of soups,tablets,capsules or powder) It is due to source of the crude herbs;the time of harvest;where the herb harvest ; the correct part of the herb being used in the formulation and the method of processing the herbs after harvest.In short,the lack of standard of the crude herbs is the problem.
Herbs and dietary supplements are used as complimentary medicine along side with conventional treatment in CAM.
As far as I can recall, milk thistle (MT)is the dietary supplement researchers mentioned the most at this discussion session, the intravenous form of milk thistle seems to show benefits in their research but now the research have to prove  that the oral form of MT,including the dose strength(how many mg etc.);dose frequency(how many times/day to take it) and their side effect burden etc. are acceptable for FDA to look at  MT as a potential drug.
A final thought of mine with regard to herbs,
His statement is very true ,for example we always know the Ginseng produced in North America is a lot different from the one that come from North Korea in medicinal property (one is cool and the Korea one is hot in Chinese herbal medicine practice; and it reflects on the price difference too.)
I hope the info. help a bit more in understanding  about CAM.
God Bless

Please know that my personal opinion is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. If  provided, information are for educational purposes.Consult doctor is a MUST for changing of treatment plans.

Re: Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM)

Thank you once again for this info Percy. I know that it will be of use to many. Point 4 in your opening post in this thread is something that strikes a chord with me. My dad used to get Reiki massages on a weekly basis. Now he was very sceptical about the benefits if any that could be achieved with these massages, he was very old school I guess! But he was offered one to help to try and relax him and help with his sleeping not long after he was diagnosed. Well he had one for the first time and before they had finished doing the Reiki massage, well he fell asleep in his chair soundly snoozing! After that, he started to go to a cancer day care centre twice a week and they offered him a Reiki massage each time he went to the centre. Well needless to say, he had the massage each and every time that it was offered to him and it helped him so much to relax, he loved getting them!! I haven't done any research into the benefits of Reiki massage etc, but the smile on my dads face said it all! Thanks again Percy.

Best wishes,

Gavin

Any advice or comments I give are based on personal experiences and knowledge and are my opinions only, they are not to be substituted for professional medical advice. Please seek professional advice from a qualified doctor or medical professional.

Re: Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM)

Hi,Gavin,
You are always welcome.The more  correct and proven info. we can provide to our patients and caretakers,the better they can be served and help them to understand this long and winding journey about CC.
You started helping out on this website long time ago,I just follow your foot step.
Say hi to your mom for me.
God bless.

Please know that my personal opinion is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. If  provided, information are for educational purposes.Consult doctor is a MUST for changing of treatment plans.

Re: Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM)

Thanks Percy. I will say hi to my mum from you, she is in the hospital again. She got taken in Monday morning with a flare up of the infection from the pneumonia she had 5 weeks ago. Hopefully she will get out before the weekend though.

Best wishes,

Gavin

Any advice or comments I give are based on personal experiences and knowledge and are my opinions only, they are not to be substituted for professional medical advice. Please seek professional advice from a qualified doctor or medical professional.

Re: Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM)

Gavin,

Sorry to hear mum is back in the hospital.  I will be hoping she improves quickly and is back home by the weekend. 

Think Of You,
Darla

"One Day At A Time"

All of my comments and suggestions are just my opinions and are not a substitute for professional medical advice.   You should always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care providers.

Re: Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM)

Hi Darla....where have you been?  You are missed.  Also, would you have a chance to meet up in Chicago? 
Hugs
Marion

THIS INFORMATION IS NOT INTENDED NOR IMPLIED TO BE A SUBSTITUTE FOR PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE. YOU SHOULD ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF YOUR PHYSICIAN OR OTHER QUALIFIED HEALTH CARE PROVIDER

Re: Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM)

Thank you Darla.

Any advice or comments I give are based on personal experiences and knowledge and are my opinions only, they are not to be substituted for professional medical advice. Please seek professional advice from a qualified doctor or medical professional.

Re: Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM)

Hi Marion,

Have had some things to take care of and a lot of issues with my folks lately.

I would love to be able to get to Chicago while you are there, but it doesn't look like it will be possible.  I do look forward to connected with you and some of the others some time, somewhere,  in the future. 

I hope things go well and that you are able to bring even more awareness of CC to the convention.

Hugs,
Darla

"One Day At A Time"

All of my comments and suggestions are just my opinions and are not a substitute for professional medical advice.   You should always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care providers.

Re: Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM)

Gavin,  Sending healing thoughts and prayers to your mum. Hope she is feeling better soon. Nancy

Loving my husband from afar.

Re: Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM)

Thanks Nancy. Was hoping that Mum would have gotten home today but that is not happening now and the earliest she might get home will be next week now. And after spending 3 weeks in the hospital lately, she is getting mighty fed up of hospitals now!

Best wishes,

Gavin

Any advice or comments I give are based on personal experiences and knowledge and are my opinions only, they are not to be substituted for professional medical advice. Please seek professional advice from a qualified doctor or medical professional.

16 (edited by Darla Sat, 04 Jun 2011 04:44:29)

Re: Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM)

Gavin,

Sorry to hear mum is not able to go home yet.  I'm sure she is getting anxious to be out of there.  Hopefully things will improve and she will be able to come home this week.

Thinking of you.

Love & Hugs,
Darla

"One Day At A Time"

All of my comments and suggestions are just my opinions and are not a substitute for professional medical advice.   You should always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care providers.

Re: Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM)

Thanks Darla. Mum is off of the oxygen now and they are trying to maintain her oxygen levels between certain levels. Her heart was beating way too fast as well and they have her on a new med to try and get that down as well. Hopefully a few days off of the oxygen and good consistent numbers will mean that she will get home next week sometime.

Thank you,

Gavin

Any advice or comments I give are based on personal experiences and knowledge and are my opinions only, they are not to be substituted for professional medical advice. Please seek professional advice from a qualified doctor or medical professional.