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Critical review of complementary therapies in haemato‐oncology

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There is evidence of the increasing use of complementary and alternative medicine by Australians diagnosed with cancer. Given the increasing desire of cancer patients to use complementary and alternative medicine, it is important that clinicians have a good understanding of the evidence available in this field. This critical review aims to provide an overview of the current evidence pertaining to a range of complementary therapies that are used in a supportive role in the treatment of cancer patients. Treatment methods considered are acupuncture, music therapy, massage and touch therapies and psychological interventions. The efficacy of these complementary therapies in terms of improvement in symptoms and quality of life is examined. Evidence that relates to an effect on immune function and survival is also investigated.
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Keywords: cancer; complementary and alternative medicine; haemato‐oncology; psycho‐oncology

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Western Australia Centre for Cancer and Palliative Care, Curtin University of Technology (formerly Cancer Foundation Chair of Palliative Care, Edith Cowan University), Perth, Western Australia, Australia

Publication date: September 1, 2006

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