Cancer patients are increasingly turning to alternative medicine in the world. According to survey of 1000 people with various types of cancer shows that many of them modify their diet in conjunction with conventional treatment. They also turn to homeopathic treatment, meditation, yoga and exercise.
The study, recently published in Annals of Oncology, provides evidence that the use of complementary as alternative medicine is common and widespread in people with cancer. Many complementary therapies have the potential to help reduce common side-effects of cancer treatment and disease symptoms. For example, published data shows that homeopathy treatments and acupressure may relieve chemotherapy- induced nausea and vomiting, hypnosis and massage are beneficial for cancer-related pain, and meditation and relaxation techniques can relieve fatigue.
“The popularity of CAM use in cancer sufferers presumably reflects the benefits – real or perceived – by those who use them. Dietary supplements are the most common natural therapy used by men suffering cancer. Prayer has been identified as the second most popular CAM therapy and herbs and botanicals rank third, despite warnings from cancer.
The study suggests that many patients are turning to alternative options because they are either dissatisfied with the results from conventional medical treatments, or pressured by their spouse or family to try something different.
While this study focused on male cancer outpatients living in Adelaide, other studies around the world have demonstrated that culture plays a large part in determining which herbs and dietary supplements are favored. Oncologists are not aware that most people cancer patients use alternative treatments in conjunction with conventional medicine.”It would definitely be worth clinicians having an open discussion with their patients about the efficacy and safety of complementary and alternative medicine. A better understanding of the role, reasons for use and benefits of CAM may lead to more holistic approaches to care.
The study is the first in the world to specifically assess CAM use by men with a wide variety of cancers. Young people who are diagnosed with cancer and are not already religious, do not turn to religion. But the life-threatening diagnosis can strengthen beliefs in those who are already religious, finds a study.
According to research shows that young cancer patient’ views on existential issues show consistency before and after the diagnosis. However, the beliefs they already had could be confirmed and strengthened – this applies both to religion and science.
It has been a theoretical staple of sociology of religion that major religious conversions are preceded by personal crises; a person’s feelings toward religion are significantly altered when confronted with an existential crisis like cancer diagnosis.
However, challenges this theory. In her thesis, she interviewed a group of young cancer patients about the religious consequences of life crises – both shortly after the diagnosis and during treatment.
A cancer diagnosis did not make young people lose their religion, just as atheists do not become religious. The cancer patients do contemplate existential issues, but that does not mean that they suddenly start praying or going to holly place if these religious practices were not already part of their lives according to sociologist.