Complementary and alternative medicine

Anesthesiol Clin. 2006 Mar;24(1):81-111, viii. doi: 10.1016/j.atc.2005.12.008.


Thirty years ago, the integration of complementary medicine into cancer care almost was dismissed as quackery. Today, a whole range of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) techniques have been integrated into the management of cancer, which are often of benefit to patients, when conventional treatment is deemed to have failed or caused intolerable side effects. Health care workers need to inquire about the use of CAM in their patients routinely in a sensitive and nonjudgmental way, and may need to advise patients to stop certain therapies. Yet in advanced cancer, a sensible balance needs to be struck between fear about adverse effects and interactions and the importance of making the remaining weeks/days/months as comfortable and enjoyable as possible.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acupuncture Therapy
  • Complementary Therapies*
  • Herbal Medicine
  • Homeopathy
  • Humans
  • Hypnosis
  • Neoplasms / complications
  • Neoplasms / therapy
  • Pain Management
  • Palliative Care*