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Complementary and alternative therapies for brain tumoursCComplementary and alternative therapies for brain tumoursComplementary and alternative therapies for brain tumoursEnglishNeurologyChild (0-12 years);Teen (13-18 years)BrainNervous systemNAAdult (19+)NA2009-07-10T04:00:00ZUte Bartels, MD11.000000000000047.00000000000001956.00000000000Flat ContentHealth A-Z<p>A in-depth look at complementary and alternative therapy for children with brain tumors. Answers from Canadian Paediatric Hospitals.</p><p>If your child is very sick, you are probably ready to do anything to make them better. Your feelings about this may be stronger if the outlook is not good, or if there are serious side effects from treatment. </p> <p>You may hear about therapies or products that your child’s doctor or treatment team hasn’t mentioned when you search for information, or talk to friends, family, or acquaintances. These therapies might sound as if they could help or even cure your child. They are known as complementary or alternative treatments. They are not part of conventional or evidence-based medicine that doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals use. </p><h2>Key points</h2> <ul><li>Complementary medicine is used together with conventional medicine, while alternative medicine is used instead of conventional medicine.</li> <li>Always speak to your doctor and educate yourself about any complementary or alternative therapies before starting them.</li></ul>
Thérapies complémentaires et non conventionnelles pour les tumeurs cérébralesTThérapies complémentaires et non conventionnelles pour les tumeurs cérébralesComplementary and alternative therapies for brain tumoursFrenchNeurologyChild (0-12 years);Teen (13-18 years)BrainNervous systemNAAdult (19+)NA2009-07-10T04:00:00ZUte Bartels, MD11.000000000000047.00000000000001956.00000000000Flat ContentHealth A-Z<p>Aperçu approfondi de la thérapie complémentaire et parallèle pour les enfants atteints de tumeurs cérébrales. Réponses des hôpitaux pédiatriques canadiens.</p><p>Si votre enfant est très malade, vous êtes probablement prêts à tout faire pour qu’il se sente mieux. Vos sentiments à cet égard pourraient être plus forts si le pronostic n’est pas bon ou si le traitement cause de graves effets indésirables. </p> <p>Vous pourriez entendre parler de thérapies ou de produits dont le médecin ou l’équipe de traitement de votre enfant n’a pas parlé quand vous chercherez de l’information, ou en parlant avec des amis, votre famille ou des connaissances. Il est possible que ces thérapies semblent pouvoir aider ou même guérir votre enfant. C’est ce que l’on appelle des traitements complémentaires ou non conventionnels. Ils ne font pas partie des médicaments conventionnels ou fondés sur des preuves que les médecins, les infirmières et d’autres professionnels de la santé utilisent. </p><h2>À retenir</h2> <ul><li>Les thérapies complémentaires sont employées conjointement avec la médecine conventionnelle alors que la médecine alternative est employée en remplacement de la médecine conventionnelle.</li> <li>Discutez toujours avec votre médecin et renseignez-vous bien sur les thérapies complémentaires ou alternatives avant de les essayer.</li></ul>

 

 

Complementary and alternative therapies for brain tumours1383.00000000000Complementary and alternative therapies for brain tumoursComplementary and alternative therapies for brain tumoursCEnglishNeurologyChild (0-12 years);Teen (13-18 years)BrainNervous systemNAAdult (19+)NA2009-07-10T04:00:00ZUte Bartels, MD11.000000000000047.00000000000001956.00000000000Flat ContentHealth A-Z<p>A in-depth look at complementary and alternative therapy for children with brain tumors. Answers from Canadian Paediatric Hospitals.</p><p>If your child is very sick, you are probably ready to do anything to make them better. Your feelings about this may be stronger if the outlook is not good, or if there are serious side effects from treatment. </p> <p>You may hear about therapies or products that your child’s doctor or treatment team hasn’t mentioned when you search for information, or talk to friends, family, or acquaintances. These therapies might sound as if they could help or even cure your child. They are known as complementary or alternative treatments. They are not part of conventional or evidence-based medicine that doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals use. </p><h2>Key points</h2> <ul><li>Complementary medicine is used together with conventional medicine, while alternative medicine is used instead of conventional medicine.</li> <li>Always speak to your doctor and educate yourself about any complementary or alternative therapies before starting them.</li></ul><p>While some of these techniques might seem helpful, they could also seriously harm your child, cost a lot, and not help at all. Unless a treatment has been tested scientifically, we cannot say with certainty that it helps to control or cure a disease. </p> <p>Also be aware that some people who practise alternative medicine discourage the use of conventional medicine. As a result, some doctors or hospitals may have policies to protect children from potentially dangerous treatments. </p> <p>As a parent, the best thing you can do for your child when you are faced with many options is to educate yourself. Before you try anything, talk to your child’s doctor, nurse, or treatment team to make sure it is not harmful. </p> <h2>Definitions</h2> <h3>Conventional medicine</h3> <p>Refers to the health practices that are widely used by health professionals to diagnose and treat disease. They are treatments that have proven to work based on scientific research on large numbers of people. The treatment has shown to be effective. The side effects are well known and strategies are in place to manage the side effects over time. </p> <h3>Complementary medicine</h3> <p>Refers to products, techniques, or practices that fall outside conventional medicine. Complementary medicine is used together with conventional medicine. It promises to relieve symptoms or stresses. Some complementary approaches are being studied in the same way as conventional treatments. Examples of complementary medicine are massage therapy or acupuncture to deal with the side effects of chemotherapy. </p> <h3>Alternative medicine</h3> <p>Refers to products, techniques, or practices that fall outside conventional medicine. Alternative medicine is used instead of conventional medicine. It has not been proven in scientific research, although some alternative approaches are being studied in the same way as conventional treatments. In some cases, research has shown that they do not work or are unsafe. </p> <h2>Talking to the treatment team</h2> <p>Your child’s treatment team will probably not be surprised if you ask them about alternative or complementary therapies. In fact, they may be willing to talk about them. Many people are using such therapies for themselves and for their children. One U.S. study in Washington state showed that almost 75 out of 100 children with cancer had used an alternative or complementary therapy, usually along with conventional treatment. </p> <p>The treatment team can help you understand and think about the options you might be considering. Keep in mind that there are many alternatives out there, and it is difficult and time-consuming for your doctor or treatment team to assess them all. </p> <p>Still, it is important to let the team know if you are considering alternatives. Some therapies interfere with your child’s conventional therapy, because they can cause more side effects or make the treatment less effective. Your child’s doctor or nurse may be willing to talk to the person recommending the alternative therapy. </p> <h2>Educating yourself about unproven therapies</h2> <p>Just as you would question your child's treatment plan, it is important question alternative and complementary treatments. For example, here are some issues you might consider: </p> <h2>What is known about the therapy? What does it claim to do?</h2> <p>There may be lots of media attention about an alternative treatment that sounds too good to be true.</p> <p>In the past 60 years, a new “miracle cure” for cancer has appeared every 10 years or so. Wallace F. Janssen, a historian for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, has identified some of these “cures.” Each new “cure” brought a new round of hope when it first appeared. Some of these treatments disappeared and then resurfaced again years later. None are widely used today in conventional medicine because they don’t cure cancer. </p> <p>Unless a treatment has been tested scientifically in large numbers of children, we cannot say with certainty that it helps to control or cure a disease. Case studies or anecdotes are not scientific proof. There are many stories that sound convincing about people who have been cured from cancer through alternative treatments. But consider the following questions. Has this treatment been tested in children who have the same tumour as your child? How many children were treated? What were the results for all of the children treated, not just the success stories? What were the side effects? </p> <h2>Is the therapy harmful or does it create problems with conventional treatment?</h2> <p>High-dose vitamins or herbal supplements were used by more than 50% of children with cancer in one study in Washington state, U.S. Many of the children were taking both types of supplements. One problem is that high-dose antioxidants such as vitamins C and E can make radiation therapy or chemotherapy less effective. (These are doses that are much higher than regular vitamin supplements). Herbs such as essiac and yew needle have been connected with heart and kidney problems when taken with certain chemotherapy drugs. </p> <h2>Has the therapy been studied? Are the results published in journals that are independently reviewed by other experts? What do the results show? </h2> <p>If a complementary therapy seems promising, researchers may try to study the therapy in a scientific manner and will determine ways to implement the therapy if it shows effectiveness. Some alternative or complementary therapies that have been studied scientifically include acupuncture, laetrile, and shark cartilage. </p> <h3>Acupuncture</h3> <p>Acupuncture is a complementary therapy that has been widely used to treat chronic pain or discomfort. It involves the use of thin needles inserted at certain pressure points in the body. Acupuncture has shown promise in studies for treating the nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy. For example, one study looked at the use of acupuncture in reducing nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy. </p> <p>This study involved 104 women with high-risk breast cancer. All of the women were taking anti-nausea medications and undergoing high-dose chemotherapy. There were three different treatment groups. Each woman was put in one group. One group received electroacupuncture (using electrical currents along with the needles). The second group received fake needles, and the third group had no needling. The study showed that the women receiving electroacupuncture vomited less often than the other groups. This study was published in the <em>Journal of the American Medical Association</em> in 2000.</p> <p>While the results from this study are promising, one important fact to consider is that this is an intense type of chemotherapy that was only studied in adult women with advanced breast cancer. The results cannot be applied to children with different cancers. </p> <h3>Laetrile</h3> <p>Laetrile has been actively promoted as an alternative therapy for cancer. Laetrile is a purified form of amygdalin, a substance that is found in the pits of many fruits, such as apricots, and in raw nuts. Amygdalin breaks down into cyanide. </p> <p>The U.S. National Cancer Institute (NCI) conducted two clinical trials of laetrile in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The first was a Phase I trial. Researchers tried to find a dose of laetrile that was safe in six adult cancer patients. They also looked at how and when to give laetrile. This trial showed that there were few side effects, but two patients who also ate almonds during treatment developed cyanide poisoning. </p> <p>A Phase II trial took place in 1982. In this phase, researchers were looking at laetrile’s effect on different types of cancer. The study involved 178 adult patients, most of whom had breast, colon, or lung cancer. During treatment, some patients reported that their cancer symptoms got better and their daily functioning improved. In 54% of patients, the cancer had progressed by the end of treatment. Seven months after treatment ended, cancer had progressed in all 175 patients, and the improvement in symptoms did not last. </p> <p>The side effects reported for laetrile in various studies were similar to symptoms of cyanide poisoning: nausea, vomiting, dizziness, cyanosis (the skin turning blue because the blood isn’t getting enough oxygen), nerve damage, liver damage, abnormally low blood pressure, fever, mental confusion, coma, and even death. </p> <p>After the phase II study, the NCI decided that no further research on laetrile was necessary.</p> <h3>Shark cartilage</h3> <p>Shark cartilage is sold in many health food stores. Some claim that it has anticancer effects, because sharks don’t get cancer.</p> <p>There have been a number of phase I and phase II trials of shark cartilage in adult patients with cancer. The results of these studies have not provided any definite proof that shark cartilage has anticancer effects. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a randomized phase III clinical trial of BeneFin, one commercial name for shark cartilage. The study will be conducted in adults with advanced colorectal or breast cancer. </p> <p>Some early studies showed a potential benefit for shark cartilage in the treatment of certain types of cancer. However, more recent studies were conducted which have found no proven benefit. </p> <h3>Scented oils</h3> <p>The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto is currently conducting a clinical study to find out whether scented oils can make a difference in the nausea and vomiting associated with certain types of cancer treatment. </p> <h2>What are the credentials of the person who does the alternative/complementary treatment? How do you know that the treatment is consistent? </h2> <p>Some practitioners of alternative or complementary therapies may take a few weekend courses, set up a business, and present themselves as experts. Others, such as chiropractors or naturopaths, may have years of standardized training, and may belong to colleges that regulate their practice. This depends on the country and on the type of alternative or complementary treatment. </p> <p>To show how important proper training is, consider the following study. As part of the study, a U.S. researcher from the Cancer Research Center of Hawaii posed as the daughter of a patient with advanced breast cancer. The researcher visited 40 health food stores and asked staff to recommend a product for her mother. In total, 36 retailers made a recommendation, either directly or by showing products that other customers had bought. Shark cartilage was recommended most often, by 17 retailers, but the research to date has not shown that it is effective. In addition, almost 20 different herbs, nearly a dozen different vitamin supplements, and nine biological agents such as fish oils were recommended. There was no consistent answer or explanation why the product was recommended. Many did not ask the researcher more detailed questions about her “mother.” This study was published in the <em>Archives of Family Medicine</em> in 2000. </p> <p>Another concern is that drug-related treatments or supplements might not be pure. Unlike conventional drugs, which are strictly regulated by governing bodies, different brands of non-conventional pills or supplements may have different amounts of their active ingredient. A person may pay a lot for a product that has little or no therapeutic benefit and which may be potentially harmful. </p>Complementary and alternative therapies for brain tumours

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