Increasing the use of alternative medicines alongside the conventional medicine and also developing the scientific researches in this field show that the people use the plants and natural products as food and drug in many countries. Therefore, related regulations were developed in the countries to research on alternative medicines. World Health Organization (WHO) and many other international scientific centers approved the role and importance of alternative medicines and herbal therapy and present many advices to policy making and research in this field.
Investigations show that 63 to 92 percent of the people who refer to the cancer clinics used at least one of the alternative medicines. Other investigations show that 30 to 75% of the patients who involved to cancer used alternative medical methods like herbal therapy, applying high dose of vitamins, natural and marine products, biologic remedies, minerals, etc. Unfortunately, in many cases, patients accessed easily to such treatments as over the counter (OTC) remedies and use them alongside their treatments but do not inform to their physicians. On the other hand, many physicians have not any sufficient information and knowledge about these treatments because of various cases like ignoring traditional and alternative medicines. But, reports show that there are too many contra indications between these natural products with conventional remedies. On the other side, these alternative medicines can help to conventional therapies by reducing side effects, increasing quality of life and increasing patients’ immune system and even treatment issues.
The approach of traditional and complementary medicines to oncology is based on additive role to conventional medicine. There is not any replacement by alternative medicine, but it is integration between traditional and conventional medicine.
It is the second congress on Integrative oncology would be held by the attempts of breast cancer research center of Jahad Daneshgahi with collaboration of cancer office of ministry of health and school of traditional medicine of TUMS and also involving faculty members of schools of nutrition, medicine, pharmacy and traditional medicine in Tehran University of Medical Sciences. The congress slogan is integration and synergy we aim to help to improve quality of life and health conditions of the patients with integration of complementary therapies with conventional medicine.
Nowadays, the role of complementary and alternative medicines alongside the conventional medicine is going to be clearer as supportive, pain relief, and even treatment methods for medical society, in particular in the field of oncology. It includes a wide range of methods from diet, historical and traditional systems of medicines like Persian medicine and Chinese medicine, ethnopharmacology, herbal therapies, etc. We believed these alternative methods can help to current medicine to reach the best responses for the patients as integrative medicine. Therefore, we aim to provide a scientific space to present and share the latest scientific works by the researchers in the field of INTEGRATIVE ONCOLOGY in this congress. Also, it is a good opportunity to hold this congress as a joint congress with Breast Cancer and Sarcoma congresses in the same time and same place to reach integration between complementary and conventional medicines.
Hope to see you in Tehran soon!