Alternative medicine not to be used alone

Eli Cizewski-Robinson

Most alternative medicine is totally harmless and passes through your body unabsorbed. However, some of it causes harm, either through creating toxicity or interacting poorly with the scientifically tested medicines someone might be taking. The other problem is that many people, instead of using complementary alternative medicine, use it to the exclusion of Western medicine. There are many stories of cancer patients abandoning chemotherapy for alternative medicine and reporting that they feel better within a few days. An article by David Gorski, who worked at a cancer center for many years, titled âÄúDeath by Alternative Medicine: WhoâÄôs to Blame?âÄù references a case where a woman who had breast cancer refused any treatment even though there was a 93 percent chance of survival. She instead chose alternative medicine and three years later her tumor had grown and created a âÄúfive centimeter area of bleeding, disgusting goo.âÄù Medical doctors Marcia Angell and Jerome P. Kassirer sum up the argument against alternative medicine perfectly in their article âÄúAlternative Medicine âÄî The Risks of Untested and Unregulated Remedies.âÄù âÄúThere cannot be two kinds of medicine âÄî conventional and alternative. 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,âÄù they wrote. âÄúOnce a treatment has been tested rigorously, it no longer matters whether it was considered alternative at the outset. If it is found to be reasonably safe and effective, it will be accepted. But assertions, speculation and testimonials do not substitute for evidence. Alternative treatments should be subjected to scientific testing no less rigorous than that required for conventional treatments.âÄù Ultimately, people are free to make their own medical decisions, but I would hope they would at least put in the effort to make informed ones. Eli Cizewski-Robinson University undergraduate student