Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Dr. Jeffrey White of the National Cancer Institute explains the different types of complementary and alternative medicine in this short video.

Complementary and alternative medicine are medicines and health practices that are not usually used by doctors to treat cancer.

  • Complementary medicine is used in addition to standard treatments.
  • Alternative medicine is used instead of standard treatments.

Examples of complementary and alternative medicine include—

  • Acupuncture.
  • Tai chi, yoga, and other mind-body therapies.
  • Vitamins, herbs, and other nutritional therapies.
  • American Indian and Alaska Native traditional healing practices.

Talk to your doctor before you start any kind of complementary or alternative medicine, even for managing side effects from standard treatment. Complementary and alternative medicines may make standard cancer treatments not work as well.