Almost 40% of the public appears to think that cancer can be cured without conventional, evidence-based treatments, according to American Society of Clinical Oncology. Those who follow through with this opinion have increased death rates and lower quality of life.
Misinformation about cancer care is a rampant and a growing problem.
Unfortunately, most oncologists aren’t sufficiently educated on the topic either. Many know nothing about evidence-based complementary treatments that can help cancer patients, like acupuncture for neuropathy and fatigue. Even fewer use the growing knowledge of cancer biology to personalize patient treatments with the proper integration of conventional, complementary, and self-care approaches.
I believe, as the founder of the Create to Heal Program, that complementary care is just that: a complement to the care your oncologist, radiation oncologist or hematology oncologist provides you. Yes, it’s true acupuncture helps with nausea from chemo, also helps with neuropathy and fatigue. There are studies that show cannabis also helps with the affects of chemotherapy. Do you replace the standard protocol with these?
The answer is no.
Good diet, which includes juicing and green proteins, exercise, meditation and other forms of stress reduction and the arts help reduce the chances of getting cancer the first time or the second / third time. That’s the rub with cancer – it often comes back.
“There’s no question that evidence-based cancer therapy is necessary to effectively treat the disease,” said ASCO Chief Medical Officer Richard L. Schilsky, MD, FACP, FASCO. “The vast majority of alternative therapies either haven’t been rigorously studied or haven’t been found to benefit patients. When patients are making critical decisions about which cancer treatments to undergo, it is always best to follow the evidence from well-designed research studies.”