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Complementary and Alternative Medicine and

Chinese Medicine in Lung Cancer

Misha Ruth Cohen, OMD, L.Ac.


Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) in lung cancer may include Chinese medicine, Western herbal therapy, relaxation and visualization techniques, prayer, exercise, nutritional supplementation, and dietary therapy. In this chapter, the primary focus will be on Chinese medicine and related therapies that may be used in conjunction with other complementary and alternative

therapies and Western medicine.

Chinese Medicine

In China and many parts of the United States today, people with various types of cancer seek out Chinese medicine in addition, or as an alternative, to Western medical treatment. In lung cancer, Chinese medicine is used primarily for supportive adjunctive care in conjunction with Western treatments of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. When intensive Western treatments are being used, Chinese medicine can relieve negative side effects and improve the treatment outcome.

A recent multidisciplinary panel of experts in oncology and integrative medicine evaluated data about complementary therapies including acupuncture, massage therapy, mind-body therapies, herbs, other botanicals, and exercise.

It was advised that inquiring about the use of these therapies by patients is important to minimize potential harm or delay in treatment. Nevertheless, the panel

concluded that mind-body modalities and massage therapy can decrease anxiety, mood disturbance,

and chronic pain; acupuncture may help control pain and other side effects; and herbal products and other dietary supplements should be evaluated for side effects and potential interactions with chemotherapy and other medications.

In China, where Chinese medicine is used in conjunction with Western medicine in hospitals and clinics, men and women undergoing various treatments for cancer are offered the choice to use Chinese herbal medicine, acupuncture, Qi Gong, and exercise as adjunctive therapies to reduce side effects and increase the efficacy of the Western treatment. Extensive research about CAM is being done in Chinese hospitals and oncology settings in conjunction with Western research approaches

and treatments.

Chinese medicine is a system of medicine that has been used for thousands of years in the treatment of health imbalances and disease. Therefore, there is a particular interest in exploring research about Chinese traditional medicine in cancer and treatment options.

MORE: http://lungcancercap.org/choices/pdf/9_ ... 052312.pdf

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