Multiple integrative oncologists question whether JAMA Oncology did the public a huge disservice in publishing the controversial data-mining, population-based research led by Skyler Johnson, MD and James Yu, MD, MHS. The study concluded that use of complementary therapies leads to shorter life spans. The New York Times was among the major media that posted the scare.
A conventional oncology clinician or a typical patient deciding whether to step out of the box and try a “complementary” treatment got a strong message from multiple major media outlets the past three weeks. A New York Times subheading was representative: “People who used herbs, acupuncture and other complementary treatments tended to die earlier than those who didn’t.”
The media had a feeding frenzy when a data-mining report from Yale researchers published in JAMA Oncology suggested a causal relationship between use of “complementary medicine” and shortened life span among cancer patients. A New York Times subheading was representative: “People who used herbs, acupuncture and other complementary treatments tended to die earlier than those who didn’t.”
In 2012, at the first CPM Symposium, I was invited to speak on the interprofessional work of the Academic Collaborative for Integrative Care (the Collaborative). The Certified Professional Midwives (CPMs) were celebrating a new era of collaboration with other childbirth professionals. It seemed a good time to feature the Collaborative, of which two of their affiliates were members.