{niftybox width=180px,float=right,textalign=left}Online book: Choices in Healing by Michael Lerner, M.D. a wonderful and inspiring book for any cancer survivor, no matter what stage of their journey. {/niftybox}

If there are still conventional doctors who are not agreeable to or ignorant of the concept of completmentary/alternative medicine, the public doesn’t seem to be hesitating to seek it out for themselves. Such things as supplements, dietary intervention, herbal or ‘immune strengthening’ approaches to fighting cancer are some of the avenues explored by patients themselves.

As reported in Scientific American, a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association indicated that Americans now visit alternative care providers nearly twice as often as traditional physicians, and the numbers are growing. People are spending more and more of their own money on visits to alternative practioners while sales of megavitamins have soared in the US to  reach $3.3 billion in 1997.

The Scientific American article asked it’s readers in1999 why people are going outside traditional medical sources, and according to the flood of response, the answer seems to be that,

"People are alienated from an increasingly impersonal health care system. Traditional medicine is seen as expensive, impersonal and, in the end, not all that effective at promoting health, but rather at treating illness. On the other hand, alternative therapists are viewed as attentive, responsive and willing to give the patient a role in the treatment and its outcome. The common thread is that we are seeking long-term health, not quick-fix cures; prevention, not pills; and, most of all, care. And we are willing to chance the outcome and pay the cost from our own pockets…"


CAM – Complementary and Alternative Medicine, on PubMed
Broadly defined as health care practices that fall outside the bounds of conventional medicine, CAM comprises a huge array of practices, including acupuncture, herbal remedies, chiropractic, hypnosis, and many others. CAM on PubMed allows you to easily find journal citations related to complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). The National Library of Medicine (NLM) and National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) have partnered to create and launch a database of 220 000 references: CAM on PubMed affords Internet access to abstracts of the CAM articles, which are culled from 4500 journals and date back to 1966. When you click on the ‘CAM on PubMed’ logo, your literature search will automatically be limited to the CAM subset of PubMed. The service is free.

National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine
The NCCAM was established by Congressional mandate in 1998 as a part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).  NCCAM’s mission is to "facilitate the evaluation of alternative medical treatment modalities" to determine their effectiveness. The Center conducts and supports basic and applied research and training and disseminates information on complementary and alternative medicine to practitioners and the public. This site has information about a variety of complementary and alternative treatments..

CancerNet (NCI) Excellent page with good unbiased information on the topics of: 714-X • Antineoplastons • Cancell • Cartilage (Bovine and Shark) • Coenzyme Q10 • Gerson Therapy • Gonzalez Protocol • Hydrazine Sulfate • Hydrazine Sulfate • Immuno-augmentative Therapy • Laetrile • Mistletoe (Iscador)

Steve Dunn’s page on CancerGuide/alternatives is very helpful for those looking for advice on choosing alternatives. See the talk he gave at the 1999 Center for Mind Body Medicine alternative therapies conference; "How to Separate the Wheat from the Chaff"..

Ralph Moss His website is full of great information on alternative treatments, see especially ‘The Cancer Chronicles’. This site, as well as his sister site, are intended to whet your interest enough to pay the $275 for his ‘Moss Reports’, which are full of information on alternative approaches, doctors and clinics for a wide variety of cancers.

The Wellness Web Awarding winning, excellent site for information on complementary medicine, set up by a co-founder of oncolink. Here you’ll find a very informative list of what to beware of regarding the possible interactions of herbs with mainstream treatments.

American Botanical Council Online Herbal Education Catalogue

Herbs Research Foundation-Herbs and Herbal Medicine for Health

Advising Patients Who Seek Alternative Medical Therapies An article in Annals of Internal Medicine. This discusses the issue from a conventional medical perspective.

Unconventional Cancer Treatments Official US Government report on unconventional cancer therapies. There is an HTML version of the report on Quackwatch

Healing Commercial site with interactive communities which covers: Chinese Medicine • Homeopathy • Western Herbalism • Nutrition & Lifestyle • Ayurveda • Aromatherapy Bodywork • Cancer Risk Reduction • Color Therapy and more

Although Dr. Steve Barrett seems dead set against almost every alternative approach out there, it’s still interesting to see what he has to say. Can be a very good reality check!

Alternative Medicine An online magazine, some good articles.