Leukemia and Alternative Medicine
The term alternative or complementary medicine includes healing methods that are a supplement to conventional medicine. These alternative treatments; eg. acupuncture (like those from agopuntura pittatore), homeopathy, and naturopathic treatments are recognized and used by conventional medical practitioners.
Leukemia and Alternative Medicine
There is no doubt that the chances of a cure for cancer patients – especially with acute leukemia – have improved enormously in recent years. The basis for this was intensive research that led to the development of new, targeted therapies. Each of these therapeutic approaches has been investigated in controlled studies. New drugs had to go through a strict approval process in which tolerability and effectiveness were tested before they were used in patients. Such measures are not required for therapies outside of conventional medicine. Thus, supplementary medicine does not see itself as an alternative to conventional medicine, but rather just as a supplement to it.
Read also: Leukemia in Children and Adults
In addition to complementary medicine, there are hundreds of therapies and methods that can be considered holistic and unconventional. This classification is often arbitrary and inconsistent. In the worst case, the therapies behind it are dubious and even harmful. Examples of such diagnostic or therapeutic methods include iris diagnostics, bioelectronic diagnostics, various spiritual/exothermic methods, oxygen, ozone or enzyme therapies, special cancer diets, etc. There are no limits to the imagination. What these methods have in common, however, is that their effectiveness – unlike in conventional medicine – has not yet been proven by scientific studies.
Can Alternative Methods Cure Cancer?
One thing is certain: Neither complementary medical nor alternative healing methods offer a realistic chance of curing cancer!
Some alternative treatment methods can be useful if, for example, they alleviate the side effects of conventional medical therapy, activate self-healing powers, alleviate pain or improve general well-being. In any case, the possible benefits of complementary medical therapy must be weighed against possible damage and risks (e.g. mistletoe therapy for leukemia).
Is there truth in so-called “miracle healings”?
It is understandable that patients with serious illnesses or people for whom conventional medicine has reached its limits seek help using unconventional methods. Often neither expense nor effort is spared as long as relief or even cure is promised. The reports of “miraculous healings” circulating in the media add to the belief in these procedures. Conventional medicine is also familiar with these events. It is known that in extremely rare cases spontaneous healing can occur, which cannot be cited as proof of the effectiveness of a particular therapy. If such spontaneous healings happen to coincide with the application of alternative therapy, healing is often incorrectly reported as a therapeutic success.
It is also known from studies with drugs without active ingredients (placebos) that diseases can be improved by the so-called placebo effect (i.e. presumably through the body’s self-healing powers, which are caused by simply believing in the drug).
In leukemia therapy, in particular, realistic chances of recovery can only be achieved through the current standard (chemo) therapies or stem cell transplantation. The greatest danger of using unconventional methods is to delay or even miss the start of effective, conventional therapy.
Patients thinking about using unconventional therapies should discuss the benefits and risks of the respective procedures with their treating physician. It is just as important to inform the doctor about substances that are taken in addition to conventional medical therapy.