A new organisation has been set up to research complementary therapies.

The Foundation for Integrated Medicine will look into the integration of other medical systems such as Ayurvedic,Chinese and Western herbal medicine and complementary therapies like massage, herbal medicine, meditation and yoga, spiritual healing, and aromatherapy into the modern medical treatment of cancer and other illnesses.

The only hope and reassurance at present for any form "cure "is surgery, chemotherapy or radiotherapy. But it can come with its often nasty side effects such as hair loss, post radio therapy pain and swelling.

There is no provision in modern medical treatment for helping the patient develop an inner peace and spiritual strength to help them come to terms with their cancer, to give any hope, or to generate any optimism.

A more holistic approach like that offered by Bristol Cancer Centre gives the patient and their relatives a strength to face the disease.

Detoxification programmes such as the Ayurvedic Panchakarma, and spiritual healing, aromatherapy and reflexology, yoga make the cancer patient feel much better and braver in themselves. Spiritual healing has been introduced in the primary care by the dedicated efforts of my friend Dr Craig Brown, president of the National Federation of spiritual healers.

Many new natural therapies are being tried around the world. Among these, anti-oxidants are widely accepted as having a definitive role in inhibiting the growth of cancer.

As I wrote last week, cancer develops in our body as a result of damage to our DNA. Many people are surprised to hear that everyday our body produces about 300 cancer cells which are destroyed by our immune system.

Ongoing research into a more holistic medicine will no doubt confirm the immense value of our dietary ingredients in preventing and treating cancer, and the value of therapies such as spiritual healing and aromatherapy in helping people cope with pain, suffering and emotional turmoil in the face of cancer.

The Fourth National conference on Integrated Cancer Care is being held on December 1st in London where leading world authorities will discuss the modern treatment, nutritional and complementary treatments of cancer. For further informa- tion on the conference, call 01273 623222.

The Foundation for Integrated Medicine can be contacted at 59 Compton Road, London N12YT.Tel 0207688 1881. Alternative attitudes