The media and the internet is awash with lots of information and marketing of health products and services for improving health and wellness. The vast amounts of information and medical claims, research and advice is overwhelming to many people. Even medical professionals have a hard time sorting out useful information from the hype.
The result is a lot of very confused patients who are desperate for good advice. Unfortunately there is no easy solution to the problem. The best thing for the patient to do is to educate themselves and also work with medical professionals that they trust. A medical professional should be looking at the individual patient and the formulating a strategy of care that makes sense for that patient. There are some really good complementary and alternative medical resources available. There are also concerns about herbal safety and the qualifications of some practitioners who provide some alternative medical treatments. Some otherwise trustworthy celebrities sometimes give questionable advice. It is important to be educated and use all the medical resources as needed in a thoughtful and intelligent way.
Cancer patients are often the most desperate when it comes to using alternative medical treatments. The American Cancer Society has a wonderful web page that lays out guidelines for evaluating medical claims and making decisions about treatment. The guidelines explain how to spot red flags and determine treatments that may be helpful. The guidelines should be a must read for anyone who has a medical condition or who finds themselves confused by the media hype and marketing.
The general advice for everyone is that before you try to improve your health through the use of any medical procedure, treatment, or supplement, get advice from a medical provider who can give specific advice about you and your situation. Remember that sales and marketing people are trying to sell product and are not qualified to diagnose and treat a patient. A celebrity doctor can not evaluate your situation and is really closer to a sales person than a medical provider. Educate yourself about the science behind the treatments, and question anything that promises a quick cure.