by S. Terry Kraus, M.D.
Complementary & Integrative Medicine
There is no acceptable “alternative medicine.” In oncology, lack of medical care can be lethal. There are many cancer facilities that offer complementary medicine (which can include diet, nutritional supplements, acupuncture, exercise and medication) as part of the oncology therapy. The combination of complementary and traditional medicine is now called integrative medicine.
Diet and nutritional supplements do not “guarantee” success. Good nutrition and satisfactory caloric intake is important. If taken in excessive doses, some nutritional or vitamin supplements can result in profound complications. Other supplements, such as antioxidants, can result in tumor growth. Other supplements can interfere with chemotherapy.
Exercise, even light exercise, may improve cancer control as well as have an in impact on survival. There is a considerable amount of data about exercise decreasing the risk of developing cancer; however, this does continue to be somewhat controversial.
Acupuncture has been proven to decrease pain, as well as nausea and vomiting. It does not improve survival and is not curative.
The oncologist team should be an active participant in the integrative medicine program. The treating oncologist should be aware of any complementary approach that is taken.
If all this appears a little overwhelming to you, I am here to help. Please contact me to set up a private consultation.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.
Originally published in Senior Living Magazine. Click here to read the original article.