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Home > Mediaroom > Press Releases > 2006 > Patient Interest in Complementary Medicines Widespread at Nation's Cancer Centers

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Lori Gardner, Senior Director
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lgardner@accc-cancer.org

ACCC News Release

For Immediate Release: February 1, 2006

Patient Interest in Complementary Medicines Widespread at Nation's Cancer Centers

When patients want CAM therapies, how should cancer centers respond?

ROCKVILLE, Md.—Interest in complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is widespread among cancer patients,” said Gary Deng, MD, PhD, of the Integrative Medicine Service at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. “Patients feel empowered by complementary therapies because most actively involve patients in their self-care.” Dr. Deng will speak at the Association of Community Cancer Centers’ 32nd Annual National Meeting on March 16 in Arlington, Va.

Increasingly community cancer centers are looking to integrate appropriate, evidence-based complementary therapies along with conventional medicine. Complementary therapies such as yoga, guided-imagery, stress-reduction, acupuncture, and massage therapy are being offered to patients as supportive care measures aimed at reducing symptoms and improving patients’ quality of life.

But what responsibility do clinicians have toward cancer patients who are attracted to so-called “alternative” therapies that are not supported by scientific evidence and that are often promoted as valid cancer treatment in lieu of conventional medicine?

Dr. Deng will discuss “Complementary Therapies and Botanicals for Cancer Patients: What are Our Responsibilities.” The presentation will cover common complementary therapies related to cancer care, evaluate the current level of evidence for these therapies, and discuss how to guide patients in an evidence-based and patient-centered manner.

About the Association of Community Cancer Centers
The Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC) is the leading advocacy and education organization for the multidisciplinary cancer care team. More than 23,000 cancer care professionals from over 2,500 hospitals and practices nationwide are affiliated with ACCC. Providing a national forum for addressing issues that affect community cancer programs, ACCC is recognized as the premier provider of resources for the entire oncology care team. Our members include medical and radiation oncologists, surgeons, cancer program administrators and medical directors, senior hospital executives, practice managers, pharmacists, oncology nurses, radiation therapists, social workers, and cancer program data managers. For more information, visit ACCC's website at www.accc-cancer.org. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and read our blog, ACCCBuzz.

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