Complementary and alternative therapies generally refer to therapies that are unconventional and that are not necessarily based on scientific evidence that have been proven to be effective. As patients or parents, you will be faced with many treatment decisions including unconventional therapies offered by those outside of the BC Children's Hospital oncology team.
We believe there is a role for complementary and alternative therapies to promote improved quality of life, maintain hope, enhance feelings of control, and encourage healing along the cancer journey. At the same time, there are some people who would promise unproven curative treatment at a time when you may be most vulnerable.
Our goal is to create a relationship of openness and trust and to help you in making informed decisions about complementary and alternative therapies. Please discuss with your oncologist if you are considering other options of treatment, and we will do our best to help guide you in your decisions about complementary/alternative therapies.
- What am I hoping this treatment will do?
- What is the research behind the treatment? Are researchers actually looking at how it works on the type of cancer my child has, or is the information based purely on what people say?
- How does the treatment work?
- What are the side effects? (Be wary of claims of 'NO' side effects; no drug or natural product is without side effects).
- What is the cost in both time and money?
Often families ask us about specific treatments, treatment centers and resources. Here are some links that may be helpful. We encourage you to discuss anything you read on these links with your oncology team.