Alternative treatments

This information was written by the Children’s Cancer and Leukaemia Group (CCLG).

Alternative treatments are unconventional and unproven therapies that aim to treat cancer. There is often no scientific evidence for their use and some alternative medicines can interact and interfere with conventional treatment. It is important that you speak to your doctor if you want to explore alternative therapies.

‘Wonder cures’

From time to time you may see claims for a new ‘wonder cure’ in the newspapers, on the internet or on television. Occasionally, the reports are about genuine developments in cancer treatment by reputable people, and the doctors at your child’s hospital will usually know something about them.

However, some reports can be misleading and give false claims for success.

If you have questions about the value of these ‘cures’, you can discuss them with your child’s doctor. Don’t worry that they will be offended by your questions. They will take you seriously and give you honest advice.

The doctors working in specialist children’s hospitals know about treatments and research going on in other specialist hospitals that aim to cure children’s cancers. So if any better treatment becomes available, they will be aware of it and can change a child’s treatment to include the new treatment.

There’s also close contact with specialist hospitals and healthcare staff in other countries, so all hospitals are kept up-to-date with any progress on new treatments.

Children's cancer information from CCLG

This information about children’s cancer was written by the Children’s Cancer and Leukaemia Group (CCLG). It has been reviewed and edited by their publications committee, which includes medical experts from all fields of children’s cancer and care.

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