Mercurial Essays

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COMPLEMENTARY THERAPIESComplementary therapies a those that are used along with conventional medicine, to help relieve symptoms,lessen side effects, or provide psychological bene?t [1].There is an ever-increasing use of such complementary treatments with about half of all adult cancer patients
using some form of complementary therapy, and an increasing number of parents of children with cancer supporting its use [2]. These non-harmful therapies include interventions such as biofeedback, relaxation and meditation, hypnosis, imaging, massage, aromatherapy, a
variety of culturally dependent and culturally sensitive spiritual healing therapies, and in-depth religious beliefs and practices. Such non-harmful complementary therapies (a) often make the child/adolescent patients and their parents feel better, (b) give them a sense of having a wider control over the decision-making process regarding the
child?s health, (c) can help reduce psychological as well as physical pain, (d) can improve the quality of life, (e)might offer some relief from the side effects of conventional therapies, and (f) can boost the immune system. Both hard and soft data frompediatric cancer clinics verify the value, usefulness, and extensive participation by families in such complementary therapies [2]. Those that are not harmful and provide psychological support for the children and
their families should not be discouraged by the medical health care team. In summary, physicians and the other members of the health care team should discourage discontinuation of proven conventional therapies and the substitution of unproven alternative therapies. At the same time, physicians should not discourage parental discussion of and controlled use of non-harmful complementary therapies, with the following caveat.