Complementary therapies for cancer explored

Published: Mon 5 Jul 2010 01:22 PM
Complementary therapies recommended for Cancer patients
July sees the release of an exciting new book by Professor Shaun Holt, which provides evidence of the effectiveness of complementary therapies for cancer. With 1 in 4 New Zealanders receiving a diagnosis of cancer at some stage in their lifetime, this new book, Complementary Therapies for Cancer: What works, what doesn’t and how to tell the difference, offers objective advice on a range of complementary products and treatments.
For over 3500 years cancer sufferers have been looking to complementary products to assist in the treatment of cancer, “People who’re unwell can be vulnerable to the promise of miracle cures,” says Holt. “Whilst complementary therapies can not cure cancer; there is now real evidence that they can be a wonderful addition to a patient’s treatment. In my new book, I look to provide access to reliable information about which treatments are safe and effective.”
In Complementary Therapies for Cancer, Holt, a qualified doctor, pharmacist, and adjunct Professor at Wellington’s Victoria University, translates the findings of medical clinical trials so that they’re readily understood by the lay-person. Professor Holt also points out that training in complementary therapies is often outside the scope of most health care professionals and therefore this book provides invaluable information for them as well.
“The purpose of this new book is to help cancer patients and their caregivers find reliable information on therapies that have been proven to complement conventional cancer treatments. Some complementary products and therapies can improve a cancer patient’s quality of life or sense of well-being while they’re undergoing chemotherapy, radiation or hormone treatment,” says Holt.
“No patient should waste their valuable energy, time or money on treatments that have not been scientifically proven,” says Dr Belinda Scott, Medical Director of Auckland’s Breast Associates, in an endorsement for Professor Holt’s book. “It matters to me that Shaun referred to sound scientific studies when recommending or dismissing a therapy.”
Among the complementary therapies for cancer patients that Holt surveyed and recommends in the new book are massage, yoga, ginger (for nausea), and an energy treatment called TENS (Transcutaneous Nerve Stimulation). The book contains an alphabetical list of the different natural treatments that a cancer patient may be tempted to try and includes those that Professor Holt recommends that they should avoid.
Professor Holt also recommends that anyone considering a complementary therapy should discuss their ideas with their physician and ask their therapy provider/therapist to talk with their conventional doctor directly. Holt thinks that “by using the best of both conventional and complementary medicine, hopefully more cancer sufferers can be as healthy as possible during this most difficult of illnesses.”
Complementary Therapies for Cancer: What works, what doesn’t… and how to tell the difference by Professor Shaun Holt is published by Craig Potton Publishing. RRP NZ$29.99 ISBN: 978 1 877517 21 1

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