Medical Policy Must be Reformed to Take Comprehensive Approach to Cancer Treatment Evaluation is Key to Full Awareness of Alternative/Complementary Cancer Therapies
TROY, N.Y. - The effective treatment of cancer requires a comprehensive approach by the medical community to a patient's total life situation, says new research by David Hess a professor of Science and Technology Studies at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY. In addition, medical policy needs to be reformed to incorporate evaluation of alternative and complementary cancer therapies.
In his recent book Evaluating Alternative Cancer Therapies (Rutgers University Press), Hess interviews more than 20 medical doctors, researchers, and patient advocates who are pioneers in the alternative/complementary therapy movement. Hess' research is funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation for "Public Understanding of Science."
"Patients look to their clinicians for help in making decisions and navigating a new and frightening world of uncertain information about their treatment," Hess says. "But their oncologists may not be aware of many alternative treatments due to lack of scientific study by the medical establishment. Many patients, overwhelmed by their diagnosis, are emotionally unable to ask the right questions of their oncologists, but increasingly patients are taking a more active role in their treatment.
"The field is changing rapidly," Hess continues. "In the last year there have been major advancements on policy front toward making funding available evaluation of alternative cancer therapies. But what cancer patients need is more information, and they need it immediately."
Evaluating Alternative Cancer Therapies highlights the importance of
providing more funding to evaluate the dozens of complementary and alternative
cancer therapies that are in wide use by patients. Conventional therapies like
radiation and chemother
Contact: Megan Galbraith
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute