Alternative/Complementary use as a Cutoff
Whether the therapy is used as an alternative therapy (instead of
conventional or experimental therapies) or as a complementary therapy (along
with conventional/experimental therapies) greatly affects how much
evidence you require to accept a therapy.
If a therapy is used instead of conventional therapy then you are absolutely
staking your life on it, and you are giving up any benefit the conventional
therapy may have. You should require that there be clear evidence that the
alternative is actually more effective than the best conventional therapy, so
the cut-off value will depend on the value of the therapy you are giving up.
(See "Efficacy of
Standard Therapies" for more on this).
Complementary therapies are used with conventional therapy and in this case you
are not giving up a proven therapy to use the complementary therapy so the
risks are not as high, and you may not require as much evidence as you would
for a primary therapy. So the cut-off value can be lower.
The main questions with complementary therapies are how they might synergism or
interfere with your conventional therapy. (See "Synergism/Interference" for more on this).
This CancerGuide Page By Steve Dunn. Copyright 1999 Steve
Last Updated June 22, 1999