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 - Northwestern Memorial Hospital - Chicago

Integrative Therapies for Cancer

The terms complementary and alternative are often used interchangeably. However, alternative approaches are not the same as complementary ones. Complementary approaches are those used in conjunction with your prescribed cancer treatments, while alternative treatments are used in place of conventional treatments. Integrative therapies are complementary or alternative approaches that are now accepted as standard care.

Questions about Herbals or Supplements

Call Northwestern Memorial Hospital’s Drug Information Center at 312-926-7573.

Internet Resources

MedlinePlus: Cancer Alternative Therapy
Developed by the National Library of Medicine specifically for consumers, this site is a portal for both government-sponsored and privately developed health information targeting the lay public.

Complementary/Integrative Medicine Education Resources for Cancer
M.D. Anderson Cancer Center first developed this database as part of a grant from the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. It continues to expand and encompass a greater variety of therapies apart from herbals, which was the original focus.

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center’s Information Resource: About Herbs, Botanicals and Other Products
This is an easily searchable site for consumers.


  • Anticancer: a new way of life. Servan-Schreiber D. 2008.
  • Complementary and integrative medicine in cancer care and prevention: foundations and evidence-based interventions. Micozzi MS, ed. 2007.
  • Gale encyclopedia of cancer. Longe JL, ed. 2010. Available in print at the Health Learning Center or online at http://www.nmh.org/nm/health+library+virtual+library.
  • Gale encyclopedia of alternative medicine. Longe JL, ed. 2009. Available in print at the Health Learning Center or online at http://www.nmh.org/nm/health+library+virtual+library.

Journals and Journal Articles

  • Alternative & Complementary Therapies: A New Bimonthly Publication for Health Care Practitioners. 2002–.
  • Alternative Medicine Review. 2001–.
  • Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine. 2001–.
  • “Integrative medicine: a characteristic China model for cancer treatment.” Chinese Journal of Integrative Medicine. 17(4):243-5. April 2011.
  • “Mind-body therapies with integrative oncology.” Current Treatment Options in Oncology. 11(3-4):128-40. December 2010.
  • “Complementary medicine and cancer. Safe approaches worth trying.” Mayo Clinic Women’s Healthsource. 13(9):4–5. September 2009.


Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database
Evidence-based information, updated daily. Call, e-mail, or stop in for answers to your questions about herbals, nutritional supplements, vitamins, and minerals.


Northwestern Memorial Hospital’s Alberto Culver Health Learning Center has joined forces with the American Cancer Society’s Patient Navigator Program to provide assistance to patients and families dealing with cancer. To take advantage of this unique service, provided by a licensed clinical social worker, call 312-472-3837.

Contact Us

For more information, please contact the Alberto Culver Health Learning Center at 312-926-5465, or e-mail us at HLC@nmh.org.

Last UpdateOctober 30, 2012