NCCIH Clinical Digest. In This Issue -- Complementary and Integrative Approaches for Cancer Symptoms and Treatment Side Effects

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U.S. Department of Health and Human ServicesNational Institutes of Health
NCCIH: Part of the National Institutes of Health. NIH: Turning Discovery Into HealthClinical Digest

May 2015

for health professionals

Woman with laptop computer. Copyright Fuse/Thinkstock

Complementary and Integrative Approaches for Cancer Symptoms and Treatment Side Effects

Many people who have been diagnosed with cancer use complementary health approaches. According to the 2007 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), which included a comprehensive survey on the use of complementary health approaches by Americans, 65 percent of respondents who had ever been diagnosed with cancer had used complementary approaches. Those who had been diagnosed with cancer were more likely than others to have used complementary approaches for general wellness, immune enhancement, and pain management.

A substantial amount of evidence suggests that some complementary health approaches, such as acupuncture, massage therapy, mindfulness-based stress reduction, and yoga may help to manage some cancer symptoms and side effects of treatment. For other complementary approaches (e.g., natural products), the evidence is more limited. This issue of the digest provides information on the evidence base on complementary and integrative health approaches for cancer-related symptoms and treatment side effects.

Read more »

What the Science Says:
Complementary and Integrative Approaches for Cancer Symptoms and Treatment Side Effects

Learn what current research has to say about:

Bullet Acupuncture

Bullet Massage

Bullet Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction

Bullet Yoga

Bullet Ginger

Read more »

Additional Resources

Bullet Clinical Practice Guidelines

Bullet Scientific Literature

Bullet Research Spotlights

Bullet For Your Patients

Bullet Tips:
6 Things You Need To Know About Cancer and Complementary Health Approaches

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NCCIH Clinical Digest is a service of the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NCCIH Clinical Digest, a monthly e-newsletter, offers evidence-based information on CAM, including scientific literature searches, summaries of NCCIH-funded research, fact sheets for patients, and more.

NCCIH is 1 of 27 institutes and centers at the NIH. The mission of NCCIH is to define, through rigorous scientific investigation, the usefulness and safety of complementary and alternative medicine interventions and their roles in improving health and health care. For additional information, call NCCIH's Clearinghouse toll free at 1-888-644-6226, or visit the NCCIH Web site at