National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM)

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National Institutes of Health • National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine

NCCAM Clinical Digest

Cancer and CAM

October 2010
Health care provider talking to a couple.

To date, relatively little is known about the safety and effectiveness of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapies that people may use for cancer. However, some CAM therapies have undergone careful evaluation, and many more studies are being carried out every year. In 2009, the Society for Integrative Oncology issued evidence-based clinical practice guidelines for doctors to consider when incorporating complementary therapies in the care of cancer patients.

Researchers are also evaluating CAM approaches that people sometimes use in hope of reducing their risk of getting cancer. These studies have focused on various vitamin and mineral supplements.

This issue provides an overview of research status, highlighting results from a few reviews and studies in the areas of cancer prevention, treatment, and management of symptoms and side effects.

Clinical Guidelines

Scientific Literature

* Note: PDF files require a viewer such as the free Adobe Reader.

NCCAM Clinical Digest is a service of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, NIH, DHHS. NCCAM Clinical Digest, a monthly e-newsletter, offers evidence-based information on CAM, including scientific literature searches, summaries of NCCAM-funded research, fact sheets for patients, and more.

The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine is dedicated to exploring complementary and alternative healing practices in the context of rigorous science, training CAM researchers, and disseminating authoritative information to the public and professionals. For additional information, call NCCAM's Clearinghouse toll-free at 1-888-644-6226, or visit the NCCAM Web site at nccam.nih.gov. NCCAM is 1 of 27 institutes and centers at the National Institutes of Health, the Federal focal point for medical research in the United States.

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Content is in the public domain and may be reprinted, except if marked as copyrighted (©). Please credit the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine as the source. All copyrighted material is the property of its respective owners and may not be reprinted without their permission.

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