The NCI is currently sponsoring several clinical trials (research studies with patients) that study complementary and alternative treatments for cancer. Current trials include enzyme therapy with nutritional support for the treatment of inoperable pancreatic cancer, shark cartilage therapy for the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer, and studies of the effects of diet on prostate and breast cancers. Some of these trials compare alternative therapies with conventional treatments, while others study the effects of complementary approaches used in addition to conventional treatments. Patients who are interested in taking part in these or any clinical trials should talk with their doctor.
More information about clinical trials sponsored by the NCI can be obtained from NCCAM (http://nccam.nih.gov, 1-888-644-6226), OCCAM
Questions to Ask Your Healthcare Provider about CAM
When considering complementary and alternative therapies, ask your healthcare provider the following questions:
• What benefits can be expected from this therapy?
• What are the risks associated with this therapy?
• Do the known benefits outweigh the risks?
• What side effects can be expected?
• Will the therapy interfere with conventional treatment?
• Is this therapy part of a clinical trial? If so, who is sponsoring the trial?
• Will the therapy be covered by health insurance?
• How can patients and their health care providers learn more about complementary and alternative therapies?
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