Unsurprisingly, cancer patients that choose to go down the route of alternative medicines, instead of the tried and tested methods, are more likely to die.

Alternative medicines are therapies outside of the medical and tested practices. They claim to have healing effects, despite being unproven or impossible to prove with some claims going against the laws of nature.  Some have claimed that chiropractic treatment, homoeopathy, acupuncture and juice diets can help cancer patients get cured.

The research conducted by scientists from Yale University concluded that those that choose to take conventional therapies, such as chemo, radio and surgery were more likely to live.

Using the National Cancer Database, they tracked 280 people who were diagnosed with the disease in 2004 and opted for alternative medicine and 560 “control” cancer patients who underwent conventional treatments such as chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery. Unfortunately, there is no way to determine what treatments were used for each individual patient in the alternative medicine group.

Looking at specific types of cancer, the alternative medicine route resulted in twice as many deaths from lung cancer, five times as many deaths from breast cancer, and four times as many from colorectal cancer. The research concluded 78.3 per cent of people who opted for medical treatment were still alive compared to just 54.7 percent of people who opted for alternative therapies, after 5 years.

“We now have evidence to suggest that using alternative medicine in place of proven cancer therapies results in worse survival,” said lead author Skyler Johnson.

“It is our hope that this information can be used by patients and physicians when discussing the impact of cancer treatment decisions on survival.”

Be vigilant on what alternative medicines say they offer. They have big claims of cures with little to no evidence. Stay on the right side of science.

Original article here

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