Complementary and Alternative Medicine for Health Professionals

Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is the term for medical products and practices that are not part of standard medical care. CAM for cancer care involves the patient's mind, body, and spirit, and includes multidisciplinary approaches. Evidence-based complementary medicine modalities may be integrated as part of standard cancer care for all patients across the cancer continuum. 

Standard treatments are based on scientific evidence from research studies. Despite claims of promising benefits made by CAM treatment providers, many CAM treatments lack good scientific evidence of their safety and effectiveness. Studies are under way to determine the safety and efficacy of many CAM agents and practices for cancer patients.

NCI has evidence-based PDQ information summaries for the integrative, alternative, and complementary therapies listed below.

Summaries Being Regularly Updated

These summaries are reviewed and updated to reflect findings from recent research.

Topics in Complementary and Alternative Therapies (PDQ®)
patient  |  health professional

Acupuncture (PDQ®)
patient  |  health professional

Antineoplastons (PDQ®)
patient  |  health professional

Aromatherapy and Essential Oils (PDQ®)
patient  |  health professional

Cannabis and Cannabinoids (PDQ®)
patient  |  health professional

Coenzyme Q10 (PDQ®)
patient  |  health professional

High-Dose Vitamin C (PDQ®)
patient  |  health professional

Laetrile/Amygdalin (PDQ®)
patient  |  health professional

Medicinal Mushrooms (PDQ®)
patient | health professional

Milk Thistle (PDQ®)
patient  |  health professional

Mistletoe Extracts (PDQ®)
patient  |  health professional

Prostate Cancer, Nutrition, and Dietary Supplements (PDQ®)
patient  |  health professional

Summaries No Longer Being Updated

These summaries are no longer being updated. No ongoing studies are being conducted for these topics. The summaries are provided for reference purposes only.

714-X (PDQ®)
patient  |  health professional

Cancell/Cantron/Protocel (PDQ®)
patient  |  health professional

Cartilage (Bovine and Shark) (PDQ®)
patient  |  health professional

Essiac/Flor Essence (PDQ®)
patient  |  health professional

Gerson Therapy (PDQ®)
patient  |  health professional

Gonzalez Regimen (PDQ®)
patient  |  health professional

Hydrazine Sulfate (PDQ®)
patient  |  health professional

Newcastle Disease Virus (PDQ®)
patient  |  health professional

PC-SPES (PDQ®)
patient  |  health professional

Selected Vegetables/Sun's Soup (PDQ®)
patient  |  health professional