Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Mistletoe for Cancer? Maybe Not

Don't get too caught up in the holiday spirit!!!...

Mistletoe Extract May Be Harmful, British Doctors Say

Dec. 21, 2006 -- Taking mistletoe for cancercancer may be ineffective and possibly harmful, British doctors report.

"I recommend mistletoe as a Christmas decoration and for kissing under, but not as an anticancer drug," writes Edzard Ernst, MD, PhD, FRCP, FRCPEd, in BMJ (formerly called British Medical Journal).

Ernst directs the complementary medicine department at the University of Exeter and Plymouth's medical school in England.

He points out that in Europe many cancer patients take mistletoe preparations and that Germany's insurance system covers mistletoe treatment.

In the U.S., the FDA hasn't approved any mistletoe cancer drugs.

Mistletoe studies have yielded mixed results and have often been "methodologically weak," Ernst says.

BMJ includes a report about a woman in Wales with inflammation under the skin where she had given herself mistletoe extract injections over the past year.

The 61-year-old woman previously had a type of cancer called lymphomalymphoma. With her cancer in remission, she began giving herself three weekly injections of mistletoe extract in her belly.

Ten months later, she had a breast tumor surgically removed. At a follow-up appointment, she complained that she had a mass in her abdomen.

link to full article

1 comment:

Medical Information said...

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