Complementary Help for Cancer Patients from the
addition to providing helpful information for cancer patients and
carers/relatives etc. concerning complementary treatments (also called
adjuvants or nutriceuticals), we are working with the London-based
cancer charity, Yes
To Life, to get the best of these into the UK's NHS (National
Health Service). This is not without precedent. Some nutriceuticals,
such as mistletoe (used extensively in German and Swiss hospitals),
can already be prescribed and obtained within the NHS. Other nutriceuticals
can sometimes be funded by the NHS through your local Primary Care
Trust (PCT). If you want to get funding in this way, you should apply
through your GP. But though worth a try don't have high
expectations of success, else you may feel downhearted if the request
is turned down. The one certain thing the PCT will require before
releasing any funds will be clinical evidence that the product or
therapy you want will work.
To forestall an ill-considered refusal on the grounds that "there
is no clinical evidence that complementary treatments work,"
you can point them to this website for further information and references
on particular nutriceuticals or other treatments. Here are some examples
of nutriceuticals that we think stand the best chance of being accepted:
(immuno-booster and inhibitor of glucose metabolism in cancer
/ Imm-Kine (Anti-angiogenesis agents)
If you do get PCT funding, do let us know, as this may represent a
precedent that will help others when applying for funding. Since it
is probable that you will only get funding if the relevant nutriceuticals
are prescribed and administered by a private specialist, you should
also ask for funding to cover their consultation, medical testing
and any other fees he or she may charge. To find a suitable cancer
specialist, you could check our links under integrated
To further our aim of getting nutriceuticals into the NHS, you could
also write to or email your MP. Below are some of the points worth
covering, and you are welcome to incorporate any of what follows into
that you are a cancer patient, and that your research had led
you to understand that there are many well-researched nutriceuticals
or adjuvants to standard cancer treatments.
out that some of these adjuvants, when taken in conjunction
with standard cancer treatment, as well as helping the patient
get through the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation therapy,
decrease the rate of recurrences and secondaries (metastases)
by highly significant percentages.
that you have discovered that although a few of these, such
as mistletoe (used extensively in German and Swiss hospitals),
are available on NHS prescription, the majority are not.
medicinal mushrooms as an example, quoting the 700-page report
published by Cancer Research UK in May 2002, reviewing all the
research to that date on the efficacy of medicinal mushrooms
in boosting the immune response to cancer, and significantly
raising the survival rates from single figures to well over
50% in some instances.
Avemar as a second example, pointing out that in one clinical
trial, recurrence rates and the incidence of secondary tumours
dropped from 23.1% to 7.6% over a six-month period, when Avemar
was used as an adjuvant to standard treatment.
your MP know that full references to these trials can be found
on the website: www.self-helpcancer.org. Or copy the
relevant web addresses directly into your letter. Or both.
out that nutriceuticals are many orders of magnitude cheaper
than pharmaceuticals, and that quite apart from the increased
quality of life and survival of cancer patients, it is self-evident
that the use of such adjuvants would save the NHS huge sums
of money in treating cancer recurrences.
that research surveys show that a high percentage of cancer
patients resort to the use of various nutriceuticals to help
them through standard cancer treatments.
that the pending legislation regarding the use of nutriceuticals
not only restricts the individual's democratic right to freedom
of choice in matters of health, but may result in the unavailability
of nutriceuticals that have been shown to enhance the quality
of life and to increase survival rates among cancer patients.
By thus increasing the recurrence rates and the burden on the
NHS, the government is effectively shooting itself in the foot.
(Note: Tory MPs have consistently argued against this legislation.
So if you have a Tory MP, you could add something like, "This
is something I am sure you would be only too happy to point
out to the government!")
your MP to write to the Minister for Health on your behalf,
making all the above points, sending a copy of all correspondence
To find the name of your MP, telephone 020 7219 4274, or check online
The information provided will probably include his or her email address.
Your MP's address is:
MP's name) MP