Principles of complementary and alternative medicine for cancer
Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is a general term used to describe techniques as diverse as chiropractic and yoga, iridology and meditation, colonic irrigation and spiritual healing. As such, it resists simple definition. Most published definitions describe CAM simply as practices outside of mainstream care. A more fundamental issue concerns the difference between complementary and alternative approaches. Alternative therapies are used in place of mainstream care. Conversely, complementary therapies are used as adjuncts to mainstream care for symptom management and to enhance quality of life. This distinction is especially important in oncology, where treatment choices can be literally a matter of life and death. © 2006 Springer Science+Business Media, Inc.
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