Experts suggest complementary cancer therapies to do more harm than good

Based on findings from a recent Cancer Conference, cancer patients are required to tell their doctors if they are taking herbal products for the treatment of cancer as these could keep the treatment from working.

According to reports, ginkgo pills, ginger and garlic can delay the healing of skin wounds as breast cancer spreads. Surgeon Prof Maria Joao Cardoso determines that there was however no evidence which revealed that creams or herbal therapies worked against cancer. She further added, if in doubt, one should avoid opting for herbal treatment altogether.

Doctors also warn that patients should always check with their physicians before opting for complementary therapies for cancer which could spread to the skin. There is a possibility that these therapies may spread to the skin. According to reports however, possibility of such cases was one in five for breast cancer and even less in other cancers.

Experts allege that several products can interfere with the hormone therapy or even with the chemotherapy treatments which can further also prolong the process of blood clotting, thus requiring wounds to heal longer than usual.

Cardoso drew attention to herbal products such as feverfew, hawthorn, horse chestnut, green chiretta, garlic, turmeric, ginseng and ginkgo, which can slow down the process of clotting.

She further also adds that it is obvious to look for alternative therapies but such treatments often ended up causing more harm than remedy.

The study on the website of Cancer Research UK alleges that some complementary therapies can also be advantageous. It however also suggests that one should avoid grapefruit and oranges during cancer treatment since this could affect the way cancer drugs are broken in the body.

In the wake of the situation, a clinical nurse specialist at charity Breast Cancer Now, Grete Brauten-Smith said: “With a lot of unproven information available online and little reliable research into these products, a discussion with a healthcare professional can ensure a patient has the accurate information they need to make an informed choice.”