MD Anderson has just released a video entitled “Complementary Therapies…What you must ask, and why.”

The video features experts describing how to have conversations with patients concerning their interest in alternative, complemetnary, and integrative medical therapies.
The video is introduced by Andrew C. von Eschenbach, MD, Director of the National Cancer Institute. I also participated in the video with a clip on legal and ethical issues. This clip focuses on informed consent and standard of care concerns clinicians may have when advising patients concerning use of complementary and alternative medical (CAM) therapies. The notion is that the same legal standards should apply whether a therapy is labeled ‘conventional’ or ‘complementary,’ and that it behooves clinicians to discuss CAM therapies that could make a difference in patient choices regarding treatment.
The legal clip is given added clinical context by information from Robert Buckman, MD, PhD (oncologist) offering oncologists a framework for conversations with patients. Dr. Buckman recommends that the clinician: (1) explore, (2) validate, and (3) emphasize, to maximize the possibility of reaching agreement in the spirit of shared decision-making. The video mentions herb-drug interactions as well and offers suggestions for discussing dietary supplement use with patients.
For more information about complementary/integrative cancer medicine, visit MD Anderson’s website, which includes resources and information.
For more information about the video, visit MD Anderson’s Complementary/Integrative Medicine Education Resources center, and click on Videos & Presentations, then “Complementary Therapies…What you must ask, and why.”