Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM)

Besides the standard medicine treatments utilized to deal with cancer, many cancer patients embrace and follow a variety of other techniques and treatments to support their healing.


Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) is a group of diverse medical and health care systems, practices, and products that are not presently considered to be part of conventional medicine. Conventional medicine is medicine as practiced by holders of M.D. (medical doctor) or D.O. (doctor of osteopathy) degrees and by their allied health professionals, such as physical therapists, psychologists, and registered nurses. Some health care providers practice both CAM and conventional medicine. While some scientific evidence exists regarding some CAM therapies, for most there are key questions that are yet to be answered through well-designed scientific studies - questions such as whether these therapies are safe, and whether they work for the diseases or medical conditions for which they are used. The list of what is considered to be CAM changes continually, as those therapies that are proven to be safe and effective become adopted into conventional health care and as new approaches to health care emerge.

A recent publication reporting of success in saliva production with accupuncture relieving xerostomia from MD Anderson is one such example.


The NIH has an article that provides an overview of the various CAM modalities.

CAM Basics from the NIH


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