General issues

Many people take complementary or alternative medicines. It is always important to tell your doctor about all the medicines that you are taking. This is because they may interfere with your cancer treatment and make it less effective. For example, intravenous Vitamin C can interfere with some chemotherapy treatment.

It is important to understand that many complementary treatments have not had the same rigorous testing as mainstream treatments. If you would like to join a trial which includes complementary treatment you can search for it on this website. For more information about complementary treatments and cancer you can also visit the NSW Cancer Council website at:www.cancercouncil.com.au/editorial.asp?pageid=1801.

This site also provides links to other websites with information about complementary and alternative therapies, including the following:

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Centre  
Database about Herbs, Botanicals and other products which gives details of specific therapies.

National Cancer Institute (US) 
This site provides information in Question and Answer format on Complementary and Alternate Medicine.

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA)
The TGA regulates all therapeutic products sold in Australia, including drugs and devices used in complementary therapies. An overview of the regulation of complementary medicines is included on this site.

A person with cancer often has insight to areas that need more research. These ideas are always welcome. Contact a cancer consumer advocacy group such as:

specific groups such as:

You can also fill out the form on the Cancer Australia website.

These organisations can pass on your ideas and suggestions to researchers

If you have problems when you are on a cancer clinical trial you must immediately notify your doctor. In each hospital there is a department where you can inform a patient representative if you are not happy with your care or need some help. These representatives are best contacted through the hospital's switchboard.

You can also contact the cancer consumer organisations listed above.