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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2013, Article ID 746486, 10 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/746486
Review Article

Significance of Kampo, Traditional Japanese Medicine, in Supportive Care of Cancer Patients

1Department of General Medicine, Kanazawa Medical University, 1-1 Daigaku, Uchinada, Ishikawa 920-0293, Japan
2Department of Medical Oncology, Kanazawa Medical University, 1-1 Daigaku, Uchinada, Ishikawa 920-0293, Japan
3Department of Anesthesiology, Kanazawa Medical University, 1-1 Daigaku, Uchinada, Ishikawa 920-0293, Japan
4Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Kanazawa Medical University, 1-1 Daigaku, Uchinada, Ishikawa 920-0293, Japan
5Department of Pharmacology, Kanazawa Medical University, 1-1 Daigaku, Uchinada, Ishikawa 920-0293, Japan

Received 19 March 2013; Accepted 28 May 2013

Academic Editor: Sookyung Lee

Copyright © 2013 Jun-ichi Yamakawa et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The current standard treatment for cancer is a multidisciplinary therapy whereby various types of treatment are properly combined. Chemotherapy with multiple anticancer drugs is now common, and traditional, complementary, and alternative therapies are adopted as supportive measures. Medical care in Japan is distinguished by the ability for patients to access both Western and Kampo medical cares at the same time. There is a high degree of trust in the safety of Kampo therapies because they are practiced by medical doctors who are educated with fundamental diagnosis of Western medicine. Highly reliable clinical studies are being published, demonstrating that palliative or supportive care for cancer patients using Kampo preparations alleviates adverse effects of chemotherapy or radiotherapy. This paper reports the circumstances around cancer care in Japan where traditional therapeutic Kampo formulas are used for patients undergoing cancer treatment with cutting-edge chemotherapy, specifically to alleviate adverse effects of anticancer drugs.