Complementary and Alternative Medicines and Cancer

If you are a cancer patient, you’re likely using complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), thinking about using it, or having CAM recommended to you by others. Surveys suggest that CAM use by cancer patients is fairly common. Whether you’re currently being treated for cancer or are a health professional who treats cancer patients, it’s important to understand the types of CAM, the impact of CAM on cancer, and how to make informed decisions about using CAM. Health professionals and cancer patients want the same thing: better cancer outcomes and better quality of life for cancer patients.

Last week I participated in the Canadian Association of Pharmacy in Oncology’s Fundamentals Day, where I had the opportunity to speak about CAM, pharmacy practice, and ethical, science-based patient care. What follows is a summary of that talk, which regular readers will see incorporates many familiar SBM topics. Rather than focusing on specific products


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