Complementary and Alternative Medicine

A diagnosis of cancer can have devastating effects —not only physically, but mentally and emotionally as well—leading patients to turn to complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), looking for a "safe" or "natural" solution to their ailments. Although these treatments may promise relief from pain or some other debilitating symptom, they also have the potential to cause as much harm as any drug could inflict.
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A "Review of Complementary and Alternative Medicine Practices Among Cancer Survivors," available as a journal article and podcast, discusses how nurses can play a critical role in the assessment and education of CAM use within survivor programs.
Researchers are looking at new ways to deliver some antiemetics for managing chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV). The 5-HT3 receptor antagonist granisetron is available orally and now as a transdermal patch. Studies have shown that the patch, which is placed on a patient’s skin 24–48 hours before chemotherapy, is just as effective as the oral capsule, which will be beneficial for patients who are unable to swallow pills (Hawkins & Grunberg, 2009).
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This practical reference guide offers concise descriptions of a variety of complementary and alternative therapies and their associated nursing considerations. The convenient, user-friendly format makes this book an essential tool for daily clinical practice. Mind-body interventions; bioelectromagnetic therapies; alternative systems of medical practice; manual healing methods; pharmacologic and biologic therapies; herbal medicine; and diet, nutrition, and lifestyle are discussed. (Click the book cover to preview inside pages and download a free sample chapter.)
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Despite advancements in conventional medicine, patients with cancer have continued to seek out different forms of healing. Complementary (also termed as integrative) and alternative therapies have grown so popular that nurses working in oncology need to learn integrative oncology. Handbook of Integrative Oncology Nursing: Evidence-Based Practice provides a reliable resource for nurses looking for information on the types of therapies patients may be using outside of their care.
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