Curr Opin Oncol. 1993 Jul; 5(4): 646-54.
Unproven methods in cancer treatment.
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, VA Medical Center, Little Rock 72205.
The nature-based and nontoxic image makes application of unproven methods in oncology attractive in contrast to application of a mechanized scientific medicine. The application frequency of these treatments ranges from 10% to greater than 60%. Increasingly, the promoters try to create a scientific impression through a pseudologic cancer theory, a harmless diagnostic test, and a holistic treatment of every cancer. Of the big variety of unproven methods, which are summarized in 11 groups in this review, the following are discussed: anthroposophic and other mistletoe preparations; homeopathy; Maharishi Ayur-Veda; unproven anticancer diets; orthomolecular medicine, including ascorbic acid; and methods supposedly stimulating unspecific and specific defense mechanisms. In conclusion, physicians should beware of and have knowledge of currently used unproven cancer treatments for epidemiologic, social, economic, and scientific reasons.