Acupuncture can help cancer patients

Latest studies show that acupuncture may help cancer patients.

Acupuncture may aid cancer therapy:

Australian researchers will investigate whether women undergoing treatment for breast cancer can benefit from acupuncture.

Trials overseas have shown the ancient Chinese therapy can help to combat the fatigue caused by conventional cancer treatments, says Associate Professor Caroline Smith.

Australian recruits are now sought for a pilot study looking for further evidence that acupuncture can reduce the often long-term side-effects of chemotherapy.

"Treating cancer-related fatigue usually includes ruling out causes such as anaemia, but often no specific cause or adequate treatment is found," said Dr Smith from the University of Western Sydney's Complementary Medicine Research Centre (CompleMED).

"Acupuncture has shown promise for treating cancer-related fatigue in small-scale trials ... and this pilot trial, if successful, will help lay the foundation for a future large-scale clinical trial."

Dr Smith said almost all those undergoing cancer treatment would report some drop-off in their energy levels and for up to 40 per cent this fatigue would continue for "many years after their cancer treatment has concluded".

"Medical caravans" are said to pose a public health danger:

CARAVANS WHICH are pulling up in towns around the country offering cholesterol and other blood tests without even having access to running water are a potential health hazard and “could be infecting the whole place”, a Mayo GP has warned.

Dr Ken Egan, who is based in Ballindine, told delegates attending the annual conference of the Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) in Killarney yesterday that while some mobile testing units were from reputable organisations he had come across one service, which pulled up at least twice a year in Claremorris and nobody was sure who operated it.

“Who runs them is a good question . . . the caravan has a professional outlook, but nothing inside it other than some guy sitting at a table with a box. They have no water supply and no sterilisation equipment and are doing blood testing . . . they have to break the skin with a needle and take blood off with a stick and put it into a machine,” he said.

“They are a huge health hazard and they could be spreading disease and nobody is bothering about it . . . it’s a disgrace,” he added.

The caravan was charging €10 for the tests, but the testing should cost more if it was safe, he said.

He called for the regulation of such services, as well as the regulation of alternative and complementary medicine practices, in the interests of patient safety.

There had been at least one case in his area, he said, where a woman, who died after an asthmatic attack, had been advised to give up the medication she had been taking for her condition by a woman practising alternative medicine.

Pediatric use of CAM once again gets review:

Many children with cancer use alternative medicine in their treatment, according to a recent research review.

For the review, investigators looked at 28 studies with a total of 3,526 participants (all of whom were children). In 20 of those studies, the researchers found that prevalence of complementary/alternative medicine use ranged anywhere from 6 to 91 percent.

Herbal remedies were found to be the most popular modality in the reviewed studies, followed by therapeutic nutrition and faith-healing. Commonly reported reasons for alternative medicine use included the relief of symptoms, as well as support of ongoing use of conventional cancer treatment (such as chemotherapy).

Given the widespread use of complementary and alternative medicine among pediatric cancer patients, the study's authors urge pediatricians to foster open communication with patients and their parents.

Past research suggests that certain types of alternative medicine may be of some benefit to children with cancer. For instance, in a report published last fall, researchers found that the herb milk thistle may help fight liver inflammation in pediatric cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.

The Dubai CAM centre gains momentum:

he Dubai Mall Medical Centre, the flagship healthcare centre of the Emaar Healthcare Group and Methodist International partnership, has strengthened its portfolio of healthcare services with the opening of the Complementary & Alternative Medicine (CAM) Department.

Focused on the holistic wellness of visitors in addition to offering specialised services that meet modern lifestyle requirements, the CAM Department is headed by Dr Heather Eade, Naturopathic Medicine Practitioner, with extensive experience working in Canada and Saudi Arabia previously.

The CAM Department at The Dubai Mall Medical Centre offers a spectrum of treatment options that address specific patient profiles in addition to supporting the other departments by providing valuable lifestyle recommendations for patients. A variety of conditions can be addressed by the department including gastro-intestinal problems, skin conditions, reproductive concerns, hormonal abnormalities, as well as lifestyle issues like smoking cessation, weight loss, and stress management.

Mr Omar Al Shunnar, Chief Executive Officer, Emaar Healthcare Group, said: “A recent healthcare survey in the UAE reports that nearly a third of the Emirati population is obese and that one in every four Nationals is diabetic. This is an indication of the need for modifying lifestyles, in which complementary & alternative medicine can play a pivotal role.”

He added: “The opening of the CAM departments underlines our commitment to offer holistic treatment options for visitors, and underscores how we are leading the way in integrated medical care for the community. By integrating wellness treatments with modern treatments, patients benefit from an overall lifestyle modification that adds to their well-being.”

"While antibiotics have saved millions of lives, there has been a real shift in the way people think about their health,” said Dr. Sarper Tanli, Executive Director for Methodist International. "Many people are attracted to complementary alternative medicine, as it emphasizes on treating the whole person - body, mind and spirit. Some physicians have started to use CAM as a part of support to their conventional medicine practice. A combination of complementary and conventional medicine integrates the solutions for people’s well-being and patients find the individualized and collaborative approach of medicine particularly appealing.”

 


Dr Eade added: “Complementary & Alternative Medicine is gaining acceptance as a healthcare priority by healthcare organisations globally. CAM treatments are focused on preventative as well as corrective options, in tune with the individual needs of each patient. The value of CAM therapies, when integrated in a modern treatment centre, is immense as the focus is on healthcare options that promote and support the body’s natural healing processes.”

Dr Eade’s scope of practice as a Naturopathic Medicine Practitioner includes clinical nutrition, homeopathy, herbal medicine, acupuncture, and physical medicine.

Further certifications in colon hydrotherapy, cranio-sacral therapy, intravenous, and chelation therapy leave Dr. Eade well positioned to offer comprehensive CAM treatment protocols for a variety of medical conditions. In addition, the department offers food and environmental sensitivity screening.

Dr Eade completed her BSc (Honors) in Life Sciences at Queen’s University in Canada in 1999, and her four-year doctorate degree in naturopathic medicine at the Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine in Vancouver, Canada in 2005, where she earned the prestigious John Cosgrove Award for Excellence in Clinical Skills. 

Previously she managed the Complementary and Alternative Medicine department in a private hospital in Saudi Arabia, and has experience treating patients of all ages. She has a particular interest in helping her patients achieve their health and wellness goals through truly individualized and integrated care.

Conveniently located within The Dubai Mall, the 60,000 sq ft premium multi-speciality medical centre is focused on offering an integrated healthcare experience, and is the largest out-patient facility in the region. The focus of the medical centre is to drive Emaar Healthcare Group’s goal of creating holistic healthcare systems that are aligned with the needs of the community.

Other specialities offered include: cardiology, orthopaedics, general surgery, paediatrics, family medicine, endocrinology, urology, gastroenterology, general medicine, obstetrics and gynaecology.

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