General Surgeon at the Savanna-la-Mar Hospital in Westmoreland, Dr. Lincoln Cox, says that many cancer patients are putting themselves at risk by turning to alternative medicine rather than sticking with the tried and proven conventional treatments.
Speaking at a recent Think Tank at the Jamaica Information Service (JIS) Regional Office in Montego Bay, St. James, he said that the practice of subjecting oneself to anything other than the traditional form of treatment can be “troubling and dangerous”, especially in the case of non-medically approved herbal supplements.
“It is difficult [considering that] a lot of what we see in terms of alternative medicine is rooted in our culture,” he noted.
Dr. Cox pointed out that there are persons trained and registered in the field of natural science and who, in some cases, especially in the area of palliative care, can help cancer patients feel better.
He, however, cautioned that whatever alternative or complementary medicine is being used on patients should be done with the full knowledge of their healthcare team and provider.
Dr. Cox told JIS News that he has seen cases where persons, having been diagnosed with breast cancer, sought a second opinion from someone seemingly versed in alternative medicine, only to have the condition worsen.
“In fact, I have seen some very bad situations. I had a patient, who came to me with a one-centimetre breast lump and said she had been seeing a herbalist, and the problem simply would not go away.
“We did some tests and found out that she had breast cancer. I was getting ready to arrange for treatment when she indicated that she wanted to go back to the herbalist. She did and it got worse where we couldn’t help her anymore and she died,” he related.
The MistyBlue Cancer Care Foundation will spearhead several teleconferences to highlight statistics and trends relating to cancers in Westmoreland.
These will be carried on various social media platforms during the second Wednesday of each month from August to December, between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.
The events will be streamed on Zoom, JIS’s YouTube and Facebook pages, as well as the MistyBlue Cancer Care Foundation’s YouTube and Facebook pages.
The registration link for the Zoom meeting is https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZ0oc-ChpjMjH9eV9MSKsmBiuhS-U2h48I_o.