Homeopathy Treatment May Improve Quality of Life and Prolong Survival in Patients with Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
Lung cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in Canada, with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) making up over 80% of all lung cancer diagnoses. Although the incidence of lung cancer has been declining since the mid-1980s, a decrease largely attributed to falling smoking rates, it remains the leading cause of cancer deaths. Almost one-quarter of all cancer deaths are due to lung cancer. In cases of advanced lung cancer, stages III and IV, the 5 year survival rate is 35% and 7% respectively, leaving much room and desire for advancements in treatment.
A recently-published randomized, controlled trial looked at 150 patients with advanced NSCLC in which homeopathy was an add-on therapy to conventional standard of care. Patients were evaluated for parameters of quality of life and overall survival.
After 9 weeks of evaluation, all parameters of quality of life except pain, diarrhea, and financial difficulties, were significantly improved in the homeopathy group compared to the control group. These improvements were even more apparent after 18 weeks of evaluation.
Perhaps unexpectedly, homeopathy also increased survival time. Specifically they found the estimated survival time was 477 days in homeopathy group, 352 days in placebo group and 274 days in control group. During the 730 day study period the survival rate in the homeopathy group was 45.1%, in the placebo group was 23.4%, and in the control group was 13.5%. The difference between the survival in the placebo group and the control group was not statically significant.
Homeopathy is a type of alternative and complimentary medicine developed in the 18th century by Dr. Samuel Hahnemann, a German physician.
It is rooted in several guiding principles including: “like cures like” and “the law of mini-mum dose” – the lower the dosage the more effective the medication.
Homeopathy may present a feasible, incredibly safe, low-cost intervention that has the potential to improve both quality of life and survival in lung cancers patients.
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Dr. Alanna Rinas, ND
Integrated Health Clinic
Clinic number: 604-888-8325