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Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Cancer Treatment (PDQ®)
Patient Version   En español   Last Modified: 10/05/2005


Questions and Answers About Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Cancer Treatment

Changes to This Summary (10/05/2005)

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  • Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is a group of diverse medical and health care systems, practices, and products that are not presently considered to be part of conventional medicine (see Question 1).

  • It is important that the same scientific evaluation that is used to assess conventional approaches be used to evaluate CAM therapies (see Question 3).

  • The National Cancer Institute and the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine are sponsoring or cosponsoring various clinical trials (research studies with people) to study CAM therapies for cancer (see Question 5).

  • It is important that patients inform all of their health care providers about any therapies they are currently using or considering. This is to help ensure a safe and coordinated course of care (see Question 7).

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