Everyone has heard a story of someone who drank some kind of natural tea or another and cured themselves of cancer. Over the past decade, people have become more interested in natural and holistic approaches to health care, and cancer patients are following this trend. Is so-called alternative medicine dangerous for cancer patients?

What Scientists Say

The Journal of American Medicine conducted a study on cancer. After studying years of medical history for over 1,000 participants, it was discovered that people who treated cancer with alternative medicine (e.g. natural and non-traditional treatments) died more than those who were treated with modern medicine (e.g. chemotherapy and radiation.)

Is alternative medicine actually killing people, or is there more to the study?

The Root Of The Issue

Alternative medicine is not the problem. Dishonest marketing of untested natural remedies as miracle cures are the cause of the issue. Several patients in the study refused essential cancer treatment because they were led to believe that natural medicine alone could cure them of cancer.

Often alternative medicines are meant to supplement, rather than replace, the treatment patients receive from their doctor. In an effort to gain more money, some companies are taking advantage of the desperate state of seriously ill cancer patients by claiming that supplementary medications are actually curative.

How To Stay Healthy

Remember that herbs and natural medicines can counteract with prescription medication. While alternative medications can be taken with prescription medication, it’s imperative to ask a doctor first to make sure there will be no side effects.

While there’s nothing wrong with seeking an alternative treatment method, be sure to get facts from a licensed healthcare professional. Credentials from the American Association of Naturopathic Doctors are a sign that a natural doctor can be trusted.