Alternative Cancer Care

Dr. James Gordon, director of the Center for Mind-Body Medicine, talked to us about the importance of Diet and Nutrition, Chinese/herbal medicine and social support in cancer healing.


Dr. James Gordon is a medical doctor who has spent more than 30 years developing a holistic approach to medicine and was the first chair of the Advisory Council to National Institute of Health's office of Alternative Medicine. He also spent 10 years as a research psychiatrist at the National Institute of Mental Health. He was recently appointed by President Clinton to be the Chairman of the White House Commission on Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) Policy. This Commission will be providing a report to the President on legislative and administrative initiatives, in order to maximize (CAM) health care to all Americans. The Commission is composed of 19 others from the conventional medical and (CAM) communities. Gordon is the co-author of the book "Comprehensive Cancer Care: Integrating Alternative, Complementary and Conventional Therapies."


Almost half of all Americans use some form of Complementary and Alternative medicine as a part of their health care. According to Dr. Gordon, 69% of all cancer patients are using these therapies, and 74% of all cancer patients are interested in learning about them.


Alternative health care helps people to strengthen their bodies and enhances their ability to self heal. In the case of cancer, conventional treatment works to destroy cancer cells or cut them out of the body. Alternative treatment is more of a therapeutic and preventive approach to the illness. Dr. James Gordon's book, " Comprehensive Cancer Care: Integrating Alternative, Complementary and Conventional Therapies" is not a cure for cancer.


But alternative health care alone or combined with conventional cancer treatment can help a cancer patient have a longer survival time or prevent a healthy person from getting cancer. Individual treatment is very important. Two people may have the same cancer, but because their composition is different, a specific treatment has to be created for that person.


Excerpts from his book: Chapter 5 (Page 91)
Diet and Nutrition


"It has been proven that poor nutrition can cause cancer. So cutting out fatty foods (red meats or foods high in animal fat) is helpful. Increasing the intake of whole foods (vegetables including broccoli, cabbage, tomatoes, lemons or oranges) and eating more fish are good examples of steps towards creating better nutrition."


Chapter 4 (Page 77)
Healing With Social Support


"Human beings are social animals. Studies have shown that people who are lonely are more likely to develop cancer. If you have cancer and you are alone you are less likely to do well. It is important to find group support. Reach out to those you feel a connection to, who understand you. Avoid those who dismiss your concerns or distance themselves from you.


Chapter 6 (Page 109)
Chinese & Herbal Medicne


"Seek out a professional who is an expert in Chinese medicine. Traditional Chinese herbs work in combination with each other, so it's best to find a professional who can individualize a treatment for you. Acupuncture can produce swift and dramatic relief of pain and can ease the discomfort of nausea and vomiting after chemotherapy treatment.


Chapter 8 (Page 143)


The therapeutic substances discussed in this chapter- shark cartilage, Essiac tea, Hoxey's Formula, mushrooms and green tea are naturally occuring compounds that have the ability to modulate biologic activity in the body.



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  • CBSNews.com staff CBSNews.com staff

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