Complementary and alternative medicine is frequently used among breast cancer patients

Christer Sundqvist

The Working Group for Prevention and Integrative Oncology of the German Cancer Society CAM-PRIO investigated whether breast cancer patients wanted to use complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) in their treatment situation. The objective was to assess the changes of CAM use between radiotherapy for breast cancer and the follow-up. Altogether 107 patients completed a questionnaire during and after radiotherapy. Overall, 79.8% of the patients used at least one CAM method. Supplementation with vitamin D (49.4%) and selenium (28.7%) and prayer (37.1%) were the methods most used. After completing radiotherapy, many patients started using selenium, vitamin D, relaxation techniques, and yoga to a greater extent. Prior chemotherapy or concurrent endocrine treatments were not associated with the changes in CAM use. The researchers discuss CAM use in cancer therapy and are aware of CAM as mainly a static phenomenon. However, this study showed that this is not the case and that after the end of radiotherapy patients started using new CAM methods or increased the number of methods used.

 

Reference:

Heidrun Männle, Felix Momm, Jutta Hübner, Karsten Münstedt. Do breast cancer patients adapt CAM methods according to the therapeutic situation? Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice 43(3):101305, 2021 https://www.researchgate.net/publication/348712324_Do_breast_cancer_patients_adapt_CAM_methods_according_to_the_therapeutic_situation

 

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