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Choose Alternative Treatment Practitioners With Care

Choosing an alternative treatment provider for colon cancer should be done with the same care as choosing a doctor. Here are some things to remember when choosing a practitioner:
  • Ask your doctor or nurse to suggest someone, or speak with someone who knows about complementary and alternative medicine.
  • Ask whether someone at your cancer center or doctor's office can help you find a complementary and alternative medicine practitioner. A social worker or physical therapist may be able to help you.
  • Ask whether your hospital keeps lists of CAM centers or has staff who can suggest people.
  • Contact complementary and alternative medicine professional organizations to get names of practitioners who are certified. This means they have proper training in their field.
  • Contact local health and wellness organizations.
  • Ask about each practitioner's training and experience.
  • Ask whether the practitioner has a license to practice in your state. If you want to confirm the answer, ask what organization gives out the licenses. Then, you may choose to follow up with a phone call.
  • Call your healthcare plan to see if it covers this therapy.

CAM Provider Questions

Before beginning any type of colon cancer alternative treatment, ask the provider the following questions:
  • What types of complementary or alternative medicine do you practice?
  • What are your training and qualifications?
  • Do you see other people with my type of cancer?
  • Will you work with my doctor?
  • How can this help me?
  • Do you know of studies that prove it helps?
  • What are the risks and side effects?
  • Will this interfere with my cancer treatment?
  • How long will I be on the therapy?
  • What will it cost?
  • Do you have information that I can read about it?
  • Are there any reasons why I should not use it?
Questions to ask yourself include:
  • Do I feel comfortable with this person?
  • Do I like how the office looks and feels?
  • Do I like the staff?
  • Does this person support standard cancer treatments?
  • How far am I willing to travel for treatment?
  • Is it easy to get an appointment?
  • Are the hours good for me?
  • Will my insurance cover the cost of CAM?
Call your health plan or insurer to see whether they cover CAM therapies. Many of these therapies are not covered.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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