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Some journal articles don't give enough detail on how the researchers did the studies. It is difficult to know how reliable the research is and which herbs may be helpful. But there are trials looking into this.

What about alternative therapies?

Chinese researchers did a cohort study in A cohort is a group of people, so cohort studies look at groups of people. The researchers follow the group over a period of time. The researchers in this study looked at people with oesophageal food pipe cancer.

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And who might develop a second primary new cancer of the head and neck. The researchers followed the group over 10 years. The results showed that the group of people who took CHM had fewer cases of a second primary cancer of the head and neck. This was when the researchers compared them to the group that did not take CHM. The researchers suggested that CHM might prevent a second primary cancer of the head and neck in people with oesophageal cancer. The results looked promising.

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But the people in the study received different types of CHM. This might make the results of the study less accurate. There is evidence that some herbal remedies might prevent or relieve cancer symptoms. And that it might help with treatment side effects. But we need results from large clinical trials. This way we can know which herbs are safe to use alongside conventional cancer treatment.

They found that there was not enough evidence to say that CHM can prevent the feeling of dry mouth.

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This was in people who had radiotherapy with or without chemotherapy to the head and neck. But they said that it might help with quality of life. And that it might relieve some side effects caused by radiotherapy and chemotherapy. A third Cochrane review of studies in looked at moxibustion. Moxibustion involves the burning of herbs above the skin at acupuncture pressure points. The researchers found little evidence to say that it helped with side effects of radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Or that it helped with quality of life in people with cancer. But the researchers felt that the evidence was not clear enough to rule out some benefits or risks of this treatment.

They suggested better quality studies. Chinese researchers did a review study in The researchers looked at studies that used different types of CHM. The studies looked at how to relieve perimenopausal symptoms in women who had surgery, chemoradiotherapy or hormone treatment for breast cancer. Perimenopausal means the transition time to full menopause.

The researchers found that CHM might improve perimenopausal symptoms. But suggested better quality, precise and in-depth studies. Some laboratory tests have found certain plants or plant extracts have anti-cancer qualities. Manufacturers made these into cancer drugs such as Taxol from the yew tree. But, there is no scientific evidence from human trials that herbal medicine can treat or cure cancer. We need large trials to prove this. Researchers did a laboratory study in They looked at the use of Chang-wei-qing CWQ as a treatment to prevent a certain type of bowel cancer.

The researchers found that CWQ showed an anti-cancer anti-tumour effect. But this was a laboratory study, and we need more research. Chinese researchers did a case study of patients with pancreatic cancer. All of the patients received CHM. It showed that people having herbal medicine might survive longer. We need more research.

Eat to Heal During Cancer Treatment

They looked at several studies on CHM. The researchers said that CHM showed positive results. This was as a therapy to use with other types of cancer treatment. They also said that CHM can help chemotherapy and radiotherapy to work better. They felt that CHM can help to control certain cancer genes. And that it can influence the way cancer cells work. But they recommended more research to understand exactly how CHM works. The researchers found that there was not enough evidence to use Ganoderma lucidum as a treatment for cancer. But they suggested that it might be used alongside conventional cancer treatment to boost immunity.

The researchers also said that future research should be of better quality studies. Your first consultation with a herbalist will usually cost more than further appointments. Follow up appointments are generally shorter. So, are likely to cost less. You will also have to pay for the herbs your herbalist prescribes.

These costs may vary from place to place in the UK. Herbal products in health food shops and pharmacies have to meet quality standards. They also need to provide information about their product. This includes the specific content and dose of the product and how safe it is. Remedies registered under the scheme have a THR mark and symbol on the packaging.

Herbal medicine

THR products have been tested for quality and safety. They say that how manufacturers make unlicensed traditional Chinese medicines can vary. Some have been found to contain illegal substances and toxic herbs. The manufacturers have not listed this on the packaging of the product.

The amount of the active ingredient can also vary widely between products. It is safest to buy herbal remedies from a fully qualified herbal practitioner. They have had training to work out which medicines are appropriate for you. They can also trace where their herbs and plants come from. It is understandable that you might want to try anything if you think it might help treat or cure your cancer. Only you can decide whether to use an alternative cancer therapy such as herbal medicine.

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Some websites might promote herbal medicine as part of treatment for cancer. But no reputable scientific cancer organisations support any of these claims. They are working together to develop a set of practice and training standards for herbal medicine. The BHMA aims to protect herbal medicine users, practitioners and manufacturers. It has an information service and can refer to locally qualified herbal practitioners. An independent, UK health regulator that keeps a register of qualified therapists.

It sets standards of training, performance and conduct for health professionals, including music therapists, art therapists and drama therapists. Telephone: Email: info mhra. This includes herbal products. About Cancer generously supported by Dangoor Education since Questions about cancer? Call freephone or email us.

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