‘Mind-body’ therapies to treat lung cancer

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An influential group of doctors has endorsed the use of some alternative “mind-body” therapies for treating patients with lung cancer. Massage therapy is suggested for patients in the grips of chronic pain when drugs fail to provide enough relief. The recommendations are included in revised “evidence-based” guidelines put together by an expert panel of the American College of Chest Physicians.

Alternative or complementary therapies represent just a small fraction of the sweeping set of 260 recommendations covering prevention, screening, diagnosis and treatment. Even so, their inclusion for the first time in the guidelines shows the growing acceptance of “mind-body” therapies for “reducing the anxiety, mood disturbances and chronic pain associated with lung cancer,” according to a statement released with the report. 

The guidelines strongly caution against the use of vitamin and mineral supplements, which might interfere with standard cancer treatments. Studies suggest that beta carotene can boost lung cancer risk among smokers, and vitamin A may reduce survival odds.   Full Article

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