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Cancer. 2008 Jun 1;112(11 Suppl):2607-16. doi: 10.1002/cncr.23443.

Potential role of mind-body therapies in cancer survivorship.

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Myrna Brind Center of Integrative Medicine, Thomas Jefferson University and Hospital, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19107, USA.


The use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) by cancer survivors is high, particularly among those with psychosocial distress, poor quality of life, culturally based health beliefs, and those who experience health disparities in the mainstream healthcare system. As the number of cancer survivors continues to increase, so does the diversity of the survivorship population, making it increasingly important to understand and address the CAM culture in different survivor groups. Given the known communication barriers between cancer patients and their physicians regarding CAM, it would be useful for oncology providers to have a platform from which to discuss CAM-related issues. It is proposed that mind-body therapies with some basis in evidence could provide such a platform and also serve as a possible means of connecting cancer survivors to psychosocial supportive services. This article reviews a few mind-body therapies that may have particular relevance to cancer survivors, such as hypnosis and meditation practices. A theoretical foundation by which such therapies provide benefit is presented, with particular emphasis on self-regulation.

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