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J Support Oncol. 2004 Sep-Oct;2(5):419-26; discussion 427-9.

Complementary therapies for cancer-related symptoms.

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Integrative Medicine Service, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, 1275 York Avenue, Box 303, New York, New York 10021, USA.


Relief of cancer-related symptoms is essential in the supportive and palliative care of cancer patients. Complementary therapies such as acupuncture, mind-body techniques, and massage therapy can help when conventional treatment does not bring satisfactory relief or causes undesirable side effects. Controlled clinical trials show that acupuncture and hypnotherapy can reduce pain and nausea. Meditation, relaxation therapy, music therapy, and massage mitigate anxiety and distress. Pilot studies suggest that complementary therapies may treat xerostomia, hot flashes, and fatigue. Botanicals or dietary supplements are popular but often problematic. Concurrent use of herbal products with mainstream medical treatment should be discouraged.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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