Alternative Medicines

How can I find information on alternative medicine?

First, please understand that The Gathering Place does not endorse or recommend any form of alternative medicine. It is the goal of the library to offer you credible, current and relevant information on all types of  medicine, so you can make more educated decisions about your care in conjunction with your physicians.

Next, there are some basic caveats to consider when you hear about a ‘miracle’ cure for cancer:

  1. Is it a “secret” formula? This would be a red-flag, indicating that perhaps the ‘inventor’ is not willing to have their product be investigated. This might indicate that there is no research to back up their claims, and that they are looking more to make a profit. It would be a concern especially if you were to have a negative reaction to the product, and your physician would not know what they were dealing with.
  2. Is the person or company asking for quite a bit of money, in cash up front? This would be a red-flag, indicating that perhaps they make their profit and then don’t provide thorough care or follow-up. Find out if you can get any portion of a refund.
  3. Is there anything toxic in the ingredients or dangerous in the procedure? Ask about all potential side effects.Ask is there evidence that this particular regimen has helped someone with your particular type of cancer at your stage.
  4. If everything the author says about their product is all positive and glowing, with no negatives, this would be a red-flag that the claims are unrealistic.

When you want to find impartial or well-researched evidence for a particular product or procedure, here are some websites that can be very helpful:

Society for Integrative Oncology

  • The mission of the Society for Integrative Oncology is to advance evidence-based, comprehensive, integrative healthcare to improve the lives of people affected by cancer.
  • Visit them at


  • Quackwatch is an international network of people who are concerned about health-related frauds, myths, fads, fallacies, and misconduct. Its primary focus is on quackery-related information that is difficult or impossible to get elsewhere.
  • Visit them at

National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine

  • They conduct and support research and provide information about complementary health products and practices.
  • Visit them at

Annie Appleseed

  • From its inception the Annie Appleseed Project decided to challenge the existing treatment paradigm, to question the existing research methods and subjects, and to propose new directions for both ending with true integrative oncology.
  • Visit them at



The resources and information given by our staff is NOT an endorsement of those individuals or practices. Staff members do not provide medical advice or assistance. We make every attempt to stock current, legitimate health-related materials. Opinions offered in writing or in lectures do not necessarily reflect the opinions of The Gathering Place staff or Board of Trustees.  We receive no fee for maintaining lists of resources and information. It is the responsibility of anyone utilizing this information to fully research the resources provided.