All curative "alternative cancer cures" are based on false claims, are bogus, and, I would say, even criminal. These studies tend to have a variety of problems, such as small samples, various biases, poor research design, lack of controls, negative results, etc. Even those with positive results can be better explained as resulting in false positives due to bias and noisy data.
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Alternative medicine may lead to a false understanding of the body and of the process of science. A prominent supporter of this position is George D. Cassileth mentioned a letter to the US Senate Subcommittee on Public Health and Safety, which had deplored the lack of critical thinking and scientific rigor in OAM-supported research, had been signed by four Nobel Laureates and other prominent scientists. In March , a staff writer for the Washington Post reported that the impending national discussion about broadening access to health care, improving medical practice and saving money was giving a group of scientists an opening to propose shutting down the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
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They quoted one of these scientists, Steven Salzberg , a genome researcher and computational biologist at the University of Maryland, as saying "One of our concerns is that NIH is funding pseudoscience. Writers such as Carl Sagan , a noted astrophysicist, advocate of scientific skepticism and the author of The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark , have lambasted the lack of empirical evidence to support the existence of the putative energy fields on which these therapies are predicated. Sampson has also pointed out that CAM tolerated contradiction without thorough reason and experiment.
Some critics of alternative medicine are focused upon health fraud, misinformation, and quackery as public health problems, notably Wallace Sampson and Paul Kurtz founders of Scientific Review of Alternative Medicine and Stephen Barrett , co-founder of The National Council Against Health Fraud and webmaster of Quackwatch.
Many alternative medical treatments are not patentable ,  which may lead to less research funding from the private sector. English evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins , in his book A Devil's Chaplain , defined alternative medicine as a "set of practices that cannot be tested, refuse to be tested, or consistently fail tests. CAM is also often less regulated than conventional medicine. According to two writers, Wallace Sampson and K. Butler, marketing is part of the training required in alternative medicine, and propaganda methods in alternative medicine have been traced back to those used by Hitler and Goebels in their promotion of pseudoscience in medicine.
In November Edzard Ernst stated that the "level of misinformation about alternative medicine has now reached the point where it has become dangerous and unethical. So far, alternative medicine has remained an ethics-free zone.
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It is time to change this. Some commentators have said that special consideration must be given to the issue of conflicts of interest in alternative medicine. Edzard Ernst has said that most researchers into alternative medicine are at risk of "unidirectional bias" because of a generally uncritical belief in their chosen subject.
Research into alternative therapies has been criticized for " Barker Bausell , has stated that "it's become politically correct to investigate nonsense. Christian laying on of hands , prayer intervention, and faith healing. Indian Ayurvedic medicine includes a belief that the spiritual balance of mind influences disease.
Mood disorders and complementary and alternative medicine: a literature review
Traditional medicines in Madagascar. Shaman healer in Sonora, Mexico. Phytotherapy herbal medicine : an engraving of magnolia glauca in Jacob Bigelow 's American Medical Botany. In the Senate Appropriations Committee responsible for funding the National Institutes of Health NIH declared itself "not satisfied that the conventional medical community as symbolized at the NIH has fully explored the potential that exists in unconventional medical practices. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Alternative medicine AM, complementary and alternative medicine CAM , complementary medicine, heterodox medicine, integrative medicine IM , complementary and integrative medicine CIM , new-age medicine, pseudomedicine, unconventional medicine, unorthodox medicine Claims Alternatives to reality-based medical treatments Form of non-scientific healing. General information. Alternative medicine Alternative veterinary medicine Quackery Health fraud History of alternative medicine Rise of modern medicine Pseudoscience Antiscience Skepticism Skeptical movement National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health Terminology of alternative medicine.
Fringe medicine and science. Conspiracy theories. Allopathic medicine Alternative medical systems Mind—body intervention Biologically-based therapy Manipulative methods Energy therapy. Traditional medicine. Adrenal fatigue Aerotoxic syndrome Autistic enterocolitis Candida hypersensitivity Chronic Lyme disease Electromagnetic hypersensitivity Heavy legs Leaky gut syndrome Wilson's temperature syndrome Wind turbine syndrome. See also: Terminology of alternative medicine. See also: Traditional medicine.
See also: List of forms of alternative medicine. See also: Phytotherapy. See also: Shamanism. Main article: History of alternative medicine. Further information: Regulation of alternative medicine and Regulation and prevalence of homeopathy.
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. May See also: List of herbs with known adverse effects. Assorted dried plant and animal parts used in traditional Chinese medicine. CAM includes such resources perceived by their users as associated with positive health outcomes. There is only medicine that has been adequately tested and medicine that has not, medicine that works and medicine that may or may not work Most of these practices are used together with conventional therapies and therefore have been called complementary to distinguish them from alternative practices, those used as a substitute for standard care.
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Until a decade ago or so, "complementary and alternative medicine" could be defined as practices that are neither taught in medical schools nor reimbursed, but this definition is no longer workable, since medical students increasingly seek and receive some instruction about complementary health practices, and some practices are reimbursed by third-party payers.
Another definition, practices that lack an evidence base, is also not useful, since there is a growing body of research on some of these modalities, and some aspects of standard care do not have a strong evidence base. Although the Commissioners support the provision of the most accurate information about the state of the science of all CAM modalities, they believe that it is premature to advocate the wide implementation and reimbursement of CAM modalities that are yet unproven.
Ludmerer noted in "Flexner pointed out that the scientific method of thinking applied to medical practice. By scientific method, he meant testing ideas with well-planned experiments to establish accurate facts. The clinician's diagnosis was equivalent to the scientist's hypothesis: both medical diagnosis and hypothesis required the test of an experiment.
Flexner argued that mastery of the scientific method of problem solving was the key for physicians to manage medical uncertainty and to practice in the most cost-effective way. Random House. Israel Journal of Health Policy Research. July—August Archived from the original on 10 May Retrieved 6 June Consumer health: a guide to intelligent decisions 9th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill. Official Journal of the European Union. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. Science and Engineering Indicators. Archived from the original on New England Journal of Medicine.
Pseudoscience and the Paranormal 2nd ed. Amerst, New York: Prometheue Books. Academic Medicine. Medical Journal of Australia. Canadian Medical Association Journal.
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Nature Reviews Immunology. Retrieved National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health.
In Saks, M. Alternative Medicine in Britain. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Kopelman Wieland et al. Astin, J. Pelletier, K. American Journal of Health Promotion. Final Report. NIH Pub. US Government Printing Office. CS1 maint: uses authors parameter link Chapter 2 archived Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine. Complementary medicine, defined as health care which lies for the most part outside the mainstream of conventional medicine.
The Lancet. NCI website. National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Journal of Cancer Research and Clinical Oncology. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management. Science-Based Medicine. Harcourt International. The Oncologist. Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy. Do You Believe in Magic? Medical Anthropology. The Skeptics Dictionary Online ed.