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Complementary and Alternative Therapies

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Not sure what complementary and alternative therapies are? Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is a way of treating patients with an array of healing philosophies, approaches and therapies that embrace a holistic approach to care - treating the mind, body and spirit. When a CAM therapy is used in addition to chemotherapy, immunotherapy, radiation therapy or surgery, it's referred to as a "complementary" therapy. When a therapy is used alone or instead of the proven standard of care, it's referred to as an "alternative" therapy.

Disclaimer: These resources are regularly reviewed to ensure that links still work correctly and the resources listed continue to be helpful to our visitors. If you find that a link isn't working or information is incorrect or if you'd like to have your own organization listed here, please email Because we want to be sure that our visitors find the most relevant resources, we encourage you to visit the organization's website for more detailed information.

American Cancer Fund (ACF)
Contact: 908 431-9800
Population served: Anyone affected by cancer and needing information

Mission: ACF is dedicated to the education, support and empowerment of those diagnosed with cancer by organizing and clarifying information. Provides information about:

  • Living with Cancer
  • Clinical Trials
  • Complementary and Alternative Medicine
  • Nutrition and Exercise
  • Oral Health
Contact: Website only - available in English and Spanish
Population served: Anyone seeking information on chemotherapy or cancer treatment
Other language(s): Spanish

Mission:® is a website designed to provide the latest information about chemotherapy to patients and their families, caregivers and friends. The site focuses on care during chemotherapy including information about FDA approved chemotherapy medications, nutrition, managing side effects and self-care tips. The content is continually updated and reviewed by oncology specialists.

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)
(formerly the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine- NCCAM)
888-644-6226 or 301-519-3153 (outside the United States)
Population served: People in the U.S. seeking scientific information on complementary health approaches
Other language(s): Spanish

Mission: To provide information on complementary health approaches and NCCAM, including publications and searches of federal databases of scientific and medical literature.

  • NCCAM's Information Clearinghouse has Information Specialists available to search NCCAM databases and answer inquiries via phone or email
  • Distributes NCCAM publications and selected other federal publications on complementary health approaches
  • Makes referrals to other federal resources as appropriate.

Office of Cancer Complementary and Alternative Medicine (OCCAM)
Contact: 800-422-6237
Population served: Patients and survivors of cancer in the U.S.

Mission: OCCAM, a division of the National Cancer Institute (NCI), has the mission to improve the quality of care of cancer patients, as well as those at risk for cancer and those recovering from cancer treatment, by contributing to the advancement of evidence-based CAM practice and the sciences that support it as well as the availability of high-quality information for the health care community, researchers, and general public.

  • Offers peer-reviewed, evidence-based cancer information summaries on complementary and alternative medicine
  • Assists in decision making about CAM, including frequently asked questions, issues to consider, and a list of sources for further information
  • Provides information on CAM therapies used by cancer patients
  • Provides safety alerts and advisories related to cancer CAM
  • Gives tips and information about talking to your health care provider about your use of CAM
  • Answers frequently asked questions about paying for CAM treatment
  • Lists integrative medicine programs at NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers
  • Links to databases that include information on clinical trials, health organizations, and scientific literature.
last updated on Thursday, December 18, 2014

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