Non-conventional cancer care
We explore all scientifically validated, evidence-based paths toward more treatment options for cancer patients.
The role of CAM in clinical cancer care
CAM often comes up when patients have little hope, or treatment options are limited. CAM sounds very attractive to patients, who often have little experience with evidence-based medicine and are unable to clearly differentiate it from pseudoscience.
CAM in clinical cancer care should not be ignored, as patients can easily find emotionally appealing information about these treatments online.
What is CAM?
Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) encompasses medical products and practices that are not part of standard treatment, thus non-conventional treatments. ‘Complementary medicine’ concerns treatments used alongside standard therapies, and ‘alternative medicine’ is used in place of standard therapies.
Several complementary treatments have been proven to help manage symptoms and improve overall quality of life.
No alternative treatment has been scientifically proven to effectively treat or cure cancer.
Our view on non-conventional treatment
Clinics should provide independent and correct information about CAM and clearly set patient expectations regarding its effectiveness.
The use of CAM is a patient’s personal decision. If research and clinical trials have not proven them safe or effective, clinicians must clearly state this.
CAM may be dangerous, cause life-threatening side effects or reduce the chance of benefit through standard treatments because of interruption or delay.
You can always get in touch with the Anticancer Fund if you have questions about CAM. We provide independent information and help patients interpret the true value of these options in cancer treatment. This information is free. Learn more about what we do for patients.
Clinicians may also freely contact us. We find it important to share our research, provide information and answer profound (patient) questions. Learn more about what we do for clinicians.
The Anticancer Fund accepts the responsibility of flagging the abuse of alternative medicine, especially when evidence is pseudoscientific and deceitful. We condemn false cancer research driven by profit, power or belief systems. Therapy details, results and analyses of safety and toxicity are expected to be publicly and transparently reported for acceptable medical judgement.
Our views on treating cancer
We invest in the most promising research to make measurable progress in the fight against cancer.
We strive to improve survival and quality of life, financial return is not within the scope of our activities.
We identify untapped potential in cancer research leading to pragmatic solutions for patients in need.
We seek impact and we invest our resources where we believe we can make the most progress.
Every cancer deserves the same attention, regardless of prevalence or profitability.