Lifelines: Complementary and Alternative Medicine

♬ – Music – ♬ Hello. I’m Dr. Jeffrey White from the National Cancer Institute. Dietary supplements, special teas, meditation, and spiritual healing… these therapies are only a few examples of the many approaches included in complementary and alternative medicine – or CAM for short. Patients are using therapies such as these in their fight against cancer. Some CAM therapies can be used without causing harm, while other CAM therapies, such as some dietary or herbal supplements, may sometimes be harmful, especially for a cancer patient taking other medications. Deciding to use a CAM therapy is a personal decision but one that should be made after talking to your doctor. Together, you can look for information on whether a CAM therapy is safe and may help. Be wary of a CAM therapy advertised by companies and practitioners as a cure or as having no side effects. Remember that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Instead, look for information about CAM therapies from credible sources, such as the National Cancer Institute. The National Cancer Institute is committed to finding new and promising therapies – including CAM therapies – for people with cancer. Visit or call toll-free 1-800-4-CANCER. That’s 1-800-4-CANCER, or 1-800-422-6237.

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