This program was made for physicians and health care professionals, but if you're a patient who watched it, we welcome you and hope it's provided you with some insights too... perhaps it's helped you understand some of the dilemmas your physician faces in making recommendations about complementary therapies and cancer treatment.
We hope that it's raised your awareness of the need for a good rapport with your physician and other health care providers, and the need to share information with them about anything you are taking that might interact with your cancer therapy.
And now, here are some additional thought for you from our experts
If you are taking or interested in complementary medicine, I would let your physician know about it. The physician today has a much more open mind about how complementary medicine can fit into your standard treatment. The reason why your physician needs to know is that the physician can then help you look at different ways you can incorporate that into your treatment plan and also let you know if what you're taking is safe with the medicine that they plan to give you.
The take home message with complementary remedies is a very important one. What you do may not be as important as how you do it... how you do something may be even more important. If you decide... I want to go to Switzerland... I want to go to Mexico... or Zambia, etc... if you are desperate...this is gonna work, this is gonna be it, I'm gonna win the cancer lottery on this one, and you throw everything... you throw all your psychological eggs in one basket... all your hopes, emotions, you invest not only your psychological resources but also the time you could be spending with your family, the emotions and very often money as well. If you do that and it doesn't work you're setting yourself up for crashing disappointment. You'll feel terrible. You'll not only feel the disease is progressing. You'll feel depressed. You'll feel foolish and humiliated that you invested time and emotion and some money. If on the other hand you just say well I can give it a shot. I can afford the time. I can afford the emotion. I can afford the money. If it works, terrific. If it doesn't work, at least I gave it a shot and I'll sleep easier. You are not setting yourself up for crashing disappointment and depression, so what you do may be less important than how you do it.
Physicians and scientists here at M. D. Anderson are very interested in complementary therapies... in fact are interested in everything that helps or hinders the treatment of cancer. We encourage you to partner with your health care team as we all strive for the safest and best therapy possible.
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