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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.