A recent Australian study, soon to be presented at the Clinical Oncology Society of Australia Annual Scientific Meeting in Melbourne, has shown a 14% reduction in symptoms distress along with improvements in pain, fatigue, nausea, appetite, sleep and breathing in 1244 cancer patients who obtained alternative therapies in addition to conventional cancer treatments.
Some of the therapies included aromatherapy, reiki, meditation and chi breathing.
Dr. David Joske, head researcher and Head of Hematology at Charles Gairdner Hospital stated that the research has shown beneficial effects that alternative therapies can have on cancer patients. However, it is too soon to know if these therapies have an essential effect or just give a placebo effect. Dr. Joske also remarks that he has witnessed a more positive attitude in his own patients.
Professor Bruce Mann, COSA President, stated that the conclusions were interesting. The suggestion that alternative therapies may add to patients having a more positive approach to conventional treatments is welcome and deserves further examination.