What alternative health

practitioners might not tell you



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By Professor Shaun Holt. Published by Craig Potton Publishing, July 2010. ISBN 9781877517211. Contains 124 pages. Price $29.99:   “This book provides an evidence-based overview of the use of complementary therapies for cancer. It has been written for anyone with cancer and for health care professionals who care for such patients…Whether we like it or not, our patients are using CAM and other natural therapies, and health care practitioners need to understand the basic principles of these therapies and know which have a solid scientific basis and can be recommended. This is particularly the case for patients with cancer, half of whom will use CAM therapies and almost all of the remainder will look at using them and seek information, often from their doctor. With respect to health care professionals, the utility of the book is neatly captured in the powerful forward written by Dr Belinda Scott who says....”no patient should waste their valuable energy, time or money on treatments that have not been scientifically proven...it matters to me that Shaun referred to sound scientific studies when recommending or dismissing a therapy.” In addition, the book is endorsed by the world’s leading expert on CAM therapies and the co-author of Trick or Treatment, Professor Edzard Ernst, who says in the cover notes...”this book is a much-needed assistance for vulnerable and often desperate people. It should be made available for all cancer patients who feel tempted to try some form of complementary medicine.” Some of the research findings are surprisingly robust, for example, a study of over 600 participants with chemotherapy-induced nausea not only demonstrated clear benefits of ginger but also determined a dose-response relationship. There are numerous fascinating facts; for example, shark cartilage is promoted as a cancer cure on the basis that sharks do not get cancer, whereas the reality is that over 40 types of cancer have been described in sharks.” Reviewed by Richard Beasley, Professor, Medical Research Institute of New Zealand, Wellington. New Zealand Medical Journal (17th December 2010, Vol 123 No 1327)