Thursday, 25 October 2012

Alternative Cancer Cures

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search

This orgone accumulator is one of many disproven or fraudulent alternative cancer treatments that have been promoted during the last century.
Alternative cancer treatments describes alternative and complementary treatments for cancer that have not been approved by the government agencies responsible for the regulation of therapeutic goods. They include diet and exercise, chemicals, herbs, devices, and manual procedures. The treatments may be untested or unsupported by evidence, either because no proper testing has been conducted, or because testing did not demonstrate statistically significant efficacy. Concerns have been raised about the safety of some of them.
Alternative cancer treatments are typically contrasted with experimental cancer treatments, which are treatments for which experimental testing is currently underway. All currently approved chemotherapeutic cancer treatments were considered experimental cancer treatments before their safety and efficacy testing was completed.
Such therapies can be categorized broadly into three groups: alternative treatments offered as a substitute to standard medical treatment; alternative treatments as an addition to standard treatment; and treatments proposed in the past that have been found in clinical trials to be useless and/or unsafe. Some of these obsolete or disproven treatments continue to be promoted, sold, and used.
Since the 1940s, medical science has developed chemotherapy, radiation therapy, adjuvant therapy and the newer targeted therapies, as well as refining surgical techniques for removing cancer. Before the development of these modern, evidence-based treatments, 90% of cancer patients died within five years.[1] With modern mainstream treatments, only 34% of cancer patients die within five years.[2] However, while generally prolonging life or permanently curing cancer, most effective, mainstream forms of cancer treatment have side effects ranging from unpleasant to fatal, and permanent cures are not guaranteed. These side effects and the uncertainty of success create appeal for alternative treatments for cancer, which purport to cause fewer side effects or to increase survival rates.
Alternative cancer treatments have typically not undergone properly conducted, well-designed clinical trials, or the results have not been published due to publication bias (a refusal to publish results showing a treatment does not work). Among those that have been published, the methodology is often poor. A 2006 systematic review of 214 articles covering 198 clinical trials of alternative cancer treatments concluded that almost none conducted dose-ranging studies, which are necessary to ensure that the patients are being given a useful amount of the treatment.[3] These kinds of treatments appear and vanish frequently, and have throughout history.[4]



[edit] Complementary versus alternative treatments

Complementary and alternative cancer treatments are often grouped together, but this grouping is controversial.[4] Definitions vary, but generally speaking, the same methods that are called "complementary" when given alongside mainstream treatments are "alternative" when they are not.[5] Thus it is not the specific treatment, per se, that is actually "complementary" or "alternative", but the context in which it is used. Complementary therapies receive more support within the mainstream medical community than alternative treatments.
Complementary treatments are used in conjunction with proven mainstream treatments. They tend to be pleasant for the patient, not involve substances with any pharmacological effects, inexpensive, and intended to treat side effects rather than to kill cancer cells.[6] Medical massage and self-hypnosis to treat pain are examples of complementary treatments.
Alternative treatments, by contrast, are used in place of mainstream treatments. The most popular alternative cancer therapies are various, generally strict diets, including the macrobiotic diet. Other therapies include mind-body interventions, bioelectromagnetics, nutritional supplements, and herbs[4] (Anticancer plants[7]). The popularity and prevalence of different treatments varies widely by region.[8]
Due to the poor quality of most studies of complementary and alternative medicine in the treatment of cancer pain, it is not possible to recommend these therapies for the management of cancer pain. There is weak evidence for a modest benefit from hypnosis, supportive psychotherapy and cognitive therapy; studies of massage therapy produced mixed results and none found pain relief after 4 weeks; Reiki, and touch therapy results were inconclusive; acupuncture, the most studied such treatment, has demonstrated no benefit as an adjunct analgesic in cancer pain; the evidence for music therapy is equivocal; and some herbal interventions such as PC-SPES, mistletoe, and saw palmetto are known to be toxic to some cancer patients. The most promising evidence, though still weak, is for mind-body interventions such as biofeedback and relaxation techniques.[9]

[edit] People who choose alternative treatments

People who choose alternative treatments tend to believe that evidence-based medicine is ineffective, while still believing that their own health could be improved.[10] They are impressed by physiological and other scientific-sounding information, prefer a healthcare model that treats the patient as an integrated, whole person, and are loyal to their alternative healthcare providers.[10]
Cancer patients who choose complementary or alternative treatments in addition to conventional treatments believe themselves less likely to die than patients who choose only conventional treatments.[11] They feel a greater sense of control over their destinies, and report less anxiety and depression.[11]
However, patients who use alternative treatments have a poorer survival time, even after controlling for type and stage of disease.[12] The reason that patients using alternative treatments die sooner may be because patients who accurately perceive that they are likely to survive do not attempt unproven remedies, and patients who accurately perceive that they are unlikely to survive are attracted to unproven remedies.[12] Among patients who believe their condition to be untreatable by evidence-based medicine, "desperation drives them into the hands of anyone with a promise and a smile."[13] Con artists have long exploited fear, ignorance, and desperation to strip dying people of their money, comfort, and dignity.
About half the practitioners who dispense complementary or alternative treatments are physicians, although they tend to be generalists rather than oncologists. As many as 60% of physicians have referred their patients to a complementary or alternative practitioner for some purpose.[4]

[edit] Examples of alternative treatment

None of the cancer treatments on this list have substantial evidence for their effectiveness in treating cancer. Some have shown some benefits as complementary therapy, to reduce pain. Very few suppliers of alternative medicines have undertaken scientifically controlled clinical trials for their products, although occasional preliminary testing, or testing as adjuvant therapy, has been performed. For this reason, alternative therapies generally rely on testimonial or anecdotal evidence. In the United States, FDA regulations forbid the makers of unproven products from claiming efficacy against cancer.

[edit] Under investigation

[edit] Mixed results

[edit] Unknown

[edit] Disproven or scientifically implausible

Chemical substances
Electrical or physical treatments
Energy and psychological treatments

[edit] Examples of complementary therapy

[edit] Alternative theories of cancer

Some alternative cancer treatments are based on unproven or disproven theories of how cancer begins or is sustained in the body. Some common concepts are:
  • Mind-body connection: This idea says that cancer forms because of, or can be controlled through, the person's mental and emotional state. Treatments based on this idea are mind–body interventions. Proponents say that cancer forms because the person is unhappy or stressed, or that a positive attitude can cure cancer after it has formed. A typical claim is that stress, anger, fear, or sadness depresses the immune system, whereas that love, forgiveness, confidence, and happiness cause the immune system to improve, and that this improved immune system will destroy the cancer. This belief that generally boosting the immune system's activity will kill the cancer cells is not supported by any scientific research.[43] People with weak immune systems have about the same rate of cancer as people with healthy immune systems.[citation needed] In fact, many cancers require the support of an active immune system (especially through inflammation) to establish the tumor microenvironment necessary for a tumor to grow.[44]
  • Toxin theory of cancer: In this idea, the body's metabolic processes are overwhelmed by normal, everyday byproducts. These byproducts, called "toxins", are said to build up in the cells and cause cancer and other diseases through a process sometimes called autointoxication or autotoxemia. Treatments following this approach are usually aimed at detoxification or body cleansing, such as enemas.
  • Low activity by the immune system: This claim asserts that if only the body's immune system were strong enough, it would kill the "invading" or "foreign" cancer. Unfortunately, most cancer cells retain normal cell characteristics, making them appear to the immune system to be a normal part of the body. Cancerous tumors also actively induce immune tolerance, which prevents the immune system from attacking them.[43] These treatments often focus on substance said to increase the immune system's activity.
  • Supposed situations within the body: In this idea, the body is incapable of coping with transient or local differences. For example, proponents will say that a transient lack of oxygen in a small area of the body causes cancer, or that clothing prevents normal circulation and thereby causes cancer.
  • Hypothetical microorganisms: While infections are a significant cause of certain kinds of cancer (e.g., Hepatitis B can cause liver cancer, and some human papillomaviruses cause cervical cancer), these stories usually assert that the harmless bacteria and fungi normally present in or on the body cause cancer, or that organisms only detectable by the proponent cause cancer.

[edit] Regulatory action

Government agencies around the world routinely investigate purported alternative cancer treatments in an effort to protect their citizens from fraud and abuse.
In 2008, the United States Federal Trade Commission acted against companies that made unsupported claims that their products, some of which included highly toxic chemicals, could cure cancer.[45] Targets included Omega Supply, Native Essence Herb Company, Daniel Chapter One, Gemtronics, Inc., Herbs for Cancer, Nu-Gen Nutrition, Inc., Westberry Enterprises, Inc., Jim Clark's All Natural Cancer Therapy, Bioque Technologies, Inc., Cleansing Time Pro, and Premium-essiac-tea-4less.

[edit] See also

[edit] References

  1. ^ Schattner, Elaine (5 October 2010). "Who's a Survivor?". Slate Magazine.
  2. ^ "Cancer of All Sites - SEER Stat Fact Sheets". Archived from the original on 26 September 2010. Retrieved 6 October 2010.
  3. ^ Vickers AJ, Kuo J, Cassileth BR (January 2006). "Unconventional anticancer agents: a systematic review of clinical trials". Journal of Clinical Oncology 24 (1): 136–40. doi:10.1200/JCO.2005.03.8406. PMC 1472241. PMID 16382123. //
  4. ^ a b c d Cassileth BR (1996). "Alternative and Complementary Cancer Treatments". The Oncologist 1 (3): 173–179. PMID 10387984.
  5. ^ "White House Commission on Complementary and Alternative Medicine Policy". March 2002.
  6. ^ Wesa KM, Cassileth BR (September 2009). "Is there a role for complementary therapy in the management of leukemia?". Expert Rev Anticancer Ther 9 (9): 1241–9. doi:10.1586/era.09.100. PMC 2792198. PMID 19761428. //
  7. ^ Cragg J M, Newman D J (2005). "Plants as a source of anticancer agents". Journal of Ethnopharmacology: 72–79. PMID 16009521.
  8. ^ Cassileth BR, Schraub S, Robinson E, Vickers A (April 2001). "Alternative medicine use worldwide: the International Union Against Cancer survey". Cancer 91 (7): 1390–3. doi:10.1002/1097-0142(20010401)91:7<1390::aid -cncr1143="-cncr1143">3.0.CO;2-C. PMID 11283941.
  9. ^ a b Induru RR, Lagman RL. Managing cancer pain: frequently asked questions. Cleve Clin J Med. 2011;78(7):449–64. doi:10.3949/ccjm.78a.10054. PMID 21724928.
  10. ^ a b Furnham A, Forey J (May 1994). "The attitudes, behaviors and beliefs of patients of conventional vs. complementary (alternative) medicine". J Clin Psychol 50 (3): 458–69. doi:10.1002/1097-4679(199405)50:3<458::aid -jclp2270500318="-jclp2270500318">3.0.CO;2-V. PMID 8071452.
  11. ^ a b Helyer LK, Chin S, Chui BK, et al. (2006). "The use of complementary and alternative medicines among patients with locally advanced breast cancer--a descriptive study". BMC Cancer 6: 39. doi:10.1186/1471-2407-6-39. PMC 1475605. PMID 16504038. //
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Vickers, A. (2004). "Alternative Cancer Cures: 'Unproven' or 'Disproven'?". CA 54 (2): 110–8. doi:10.3322/canjclin.54.2.110. PMID 15061600.
  13. ^ Olson, James Stuart (2002). Bathsheba's breast: women, cancer & history. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 146. ISBN 0-8018-6936-6.
  14. ^ "Cannabis and Cannabinoids".
  15. ^ "Antioxidants and Cancer III: Quercetin -- Davis W. Lamson, MS, ND, and Matthew S. Brignall, ND 2000;5(3):196-208 -- Altern Med Rev".
  16. ^ "Ascorbate in pharmacologic concentrations selectively generates ascorbate radical and hydrogen peroxide in extracellular fluid in vivo -- Chen et al. 104 (21): 8749 -- Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences".
  17. ^ Zaidman BZ, Yassin M, Mahajna J, Wasser SP (June 2005). "Medicinal mushroom modulators of molecular targets as cancer therapeutics". Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology 67 (4): 453–68. doi:10.1007/s00253-004-1787-z. PMID 15726350.
  18. ^ Wasser SP (November 2002). "Medicinal mushrooms as a source of antitumor and immunomodulating polysaccharides". Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology 60 (3): 258–74. doi:10.1007/s00253-002-1076-7. PMID 12436306.
  19. ^ Vadgama JV, Wu Y, Shen D, Hsia S, Block J (2000). "Effect of selenium in combination with Adriamycin or Taxol on several different cancer cells". Anticancer Research 20 (3A): 1391–414. PMID 10928049.
  20. ^ Nilsonne G, Sun X, Nyström C, et al. (September 2006). "Selenite induces apoptosis in sarcomatoid malignant mesothelioma cells through oxidative stress". Free Radical Biology & Medicine 41 (6): 874–85. doi:10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2006.04.031. PMID 16934670.
  21. ^ "Mistletoe Extracts". National Cancer Institute. Archived from the original on 20 March 2011. Retrieved 2011-03-20.
  22. ^ Borrell, Brendan (2008-02-18). "Medicine / In the Lab; Germs as a Tumor Foe?; Exposure to bacteria may help ward off cancer, studies show. Scientists are milking the concept with new drugs.".
  23. ^ Chabot JA, Tsai WY, Fine RL, et al. (April 2010). "Pancreatic proteolytic enzyme therapy compared with gemcitabine-based chemotherapy for the treatment of pancreatic cancer". J. Clin. Oncol. 28 (12): 2058–63. doi:10.1200/JCO.2009.22.8429. PMC 2860407. PMID 19687327. //
  24. ^ "This Week in FDA History—Sept. 21, 1960". U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Archived from the original on 9 July 2011. Retrieved 2011-06-20.
  25. ^ Kaegi E (June 1998). "Unconventional therapies for cancer: 6. 714-X. Task Force on Alternative Therapeutic of the Canadian Breast Cancer Research Initiative". Canadian Medical Association Journal 158 (12): 1621–4. PMC 1229414. PMID 9645177. //
  26. ^ Olson, 2002. p. 148
  27. ^ Levine MN (April 2010). "Conventional and complementary therapies: a tale of two research standards?". J. Clin. Oncol. 28 (12): 1979–81. doi:10.1200/JCO.2010.28.5320. PMID 20308650.
  28. ^ Oslon, 2002. p. 146
  29. ^ a b c Olson, 2002. p. 152
  30. ^ Jellinek N, Maloney ME (September 2005). "Escharotic and other botanical agents for the treatment of skin cancer: a review". J. Am. Acad. Dermatol. 53 (3): 487–95. doi:10.1016/j.jaad.2005.04.090. PMID 16112359.
  31. ^ "Patient Information: Essiac/Flor Essence". National Cancer Institute. July 21, 2010. Archived from the original on 27 June 2011. Retrieved July 5, 2011.
  32. ^ "Essiac". Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. March 10, 2011. Retrieved July 5, 2011.
  33. ^ Hills, Ben. "Fake healers. Why Australia's $1 billion-a-year alternative medicine industry is ineffective and out of control.". Medical Mayhem. Retrieved 2008-03-06. "Kefford is particularly concerned about cancer patients persuaded to undergo the much-hyped US Gerson diet program, which involves the use of ground coffee enemas which can cause colitis (inflammation of the bowel), fluid and electrolyte imbalances, and in some cases septicaemia. The US FDA has warned against this regime, which is known to have caused at least three deaths."
  34. ^ a b c d Olson, 2002. p. 154
  35. ^ Olson, 2002. p. 158-159
  36. ^ "Magnet therapies 'have no effect'". BBC. 2006-01-06. Archived from the original on 23 May 2010. Retrieved 2010-06-02.
  37. ^ "Questionable methods of cancer management: electronic devices". CA 44 (2): 115–27. 1994. doi:10.3322/canjclin.44.2.115. PMID 8124604.
  38. ^ Limited only by the laws of physics
  39. ^ Olson, 2002. p. 161
  40. ^ Olson, 2002. p. 163
  41. ^ Ernst E, Pittler MH, Wider B, Boddy K (2007). "Acupuncture: its evidence-base is changing". The American Journal of Chinese Medicine 35 (1): 21–5. doi:10.1142/S0192415X07004588. PMID 17265547.
  42. ^ Cannabis and Cannabinoids, National Cancer Institute
  43. ^ a b Thyphronitis G, Koutsilieris M (2004). "Boosting the immune response: an alternative combination therapy for cancer patients". Anticancer Res. 24 (4): 2443–53. PMID 15330197.
  44. ^ Stix, Gary (July 2007). "A Malignant Flame". Scientific American Magazine.
  45. ^ "FTC Sweep Stops Peddlers of Bogus Cancer Cures: Public Education Campaign Counsels Consumers, "Talk to Your Doctor"" (Press release). Federal Trade Commission. 18 September 2008.

[edit] External links

1 comment:

  1. Is massage is safe during pregnancy?Green tea is a best natural remedy for cancer, because it contains some anti inflammatory properties and it is very effective against breast cancer.
     Cancer Treatment