WHAT ARE COMPLEMENTARY THERAPIES? Complementary therapies are those treatments given in conjunction with standard mainstream cancer treatments of surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Complementary therapies are used in addition to traditional mainstream treatments to provide supportive care to patients, and are not recommended as a replacement for mainstream treatments. An example of support centres in Australia SOLARISCARE FOUNDATION; The SolarisCare Foundation Cancer Support Centres are located in Western Australia at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital and St John of God Hospital Subiaco with a third to open in Bunbury in 2010 to support regional cancer patients and their carers. The SolarisCare Foundation relies totally on the generosity of the Western Australian community and the support of the Cancer Council of W.A for funding to ensure these valuable services are maintained and expanded. They provide a safe and welcoming place where cancer patients and their carers have “a soft place to land” to receive information and choose a complementary therapy from a range of over 15 therapies provided by volunteer professional therapists. The Question should be asked "Why are services such as these not provided elsewhere in Australia". ARE COMPLEMENTARY THERAPIES PROVEN TO WORK? It depends on the type of complementary therapy. There is evidence to show that touch based complementary energy therapies, as used by the SolarisCare Cancer Support Centres, play a real part in improving the well being of people with serious illness especilaly Cancer The Support Centres own research complied over the last 8 years is showing that the model they are using to deliver complementary therapies is proving very successful at improving quality of life and symptom control for patients and carers. Further research is needed, however, to show how it is achieving this.
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