Homeopathy and cancer: a literature review
Keywords:Homeopathy, Cancer, Complementary Therapies, Homeopathic Medicines
AbstractThe World Health Organization states that deaths from cancer are increasing reaching an estimated 12 million deaths by 2030 . In Brazil will be about 480,000 new cases by the end of 2011 . For the treatment of cancer conventional therapies are used, such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy  which can cause many adverse reactions. Complementary therapies such as homeopathy can be combined to traditional cancer treatment with the aim of minimizing these adverse reactions, relieving the symptoms of the disease itself and its treatment. Other complementary therapies which can aid in cancer treatment are electrotherapy, acupuncture and electroacupuncture, nutritional supplements, probiotics, phytotherapy, among others. The literature shows the homeopathic medicines can be prescribed using the patientÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s physical constitution as one strategy to help cancer patients [6-11]. This work aims to compile the literature review done with in vitro and in vivo models describing the mechanisms of action of homeopathic medicines used to treat different kinds of cancer. The research findings showed that homeopathy can help the patient to come to terms with the disease, after cancer diagnosis which often brings with itself denial, fear and a host of psychological disorders that cause an unbalance in the body. In addition, some works done with in vitro and in vivo models have shown that homeopathic medicines can modulate the immune system, activating macrophages and inducing the release of cytokines. These and other effects may help the body to overcome the cancer. The use of homeopathic therapy as complementary to conventional cancer treatment has promising results and should be further investigated.
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