This complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) information summary provides an overview of the use of cartilage as a treatment for people with cancer. The summary includes a brief history of cartilage research, the results of clinical studies, and possible side effects of cartilage use.
This summary contains the following key information:
Bovine (cow) cartilage and shark cartilage have been studied as treatments for people with cancer and other medical conditions for more than 30 years.
Ability to walk and do other activities of daily living (dressing, getting into or out of a bed or chair, taking a bath or shower, and using the toilet).
A physical exam is also done to check the body for general health and signs of disease. The doctor will look for loss of weight, fat, and muscle, and for fluid buildup in the body.
Finding and treating nutrition problems early may improve the patient's prognosis (chance of recovery).
Early nutrition screening and assessment help find problems that may affect how well the patient's body can deal with the effects of cancer treatment. Patients who are underweight or malnourished may not be able to get through treatment as well as a well-nourished patient. Finding and treating nutrition problems early can help the patient gain weight or prevent weight loss, decrease problems with the treatment, and help recovery.
A healthcare team of nutrition specialists will continue to watch for nutrition problems.
A nutrition support team will check the patient's nutritional health often during cancer treatment and recovery. The team may include the following specialists: