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Curr Treat Options Oncol. 2014 Mar;15(1):14-26. doi: 10.1007/s11864-013-0269-x.

Appropriate use of complementary and alternative medicine approaches in gynecologic cancers.

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Division of Gynecologic Oncology, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Arizona Cancer Center, Creighton University School of Medicine at St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center, 500 W. Thomas Road, Suite 600, Phoenix, AZ, 85013, USA,



Gynecologic cancer patients frequently desire alternative and/or complementary interventions or medicines to aid in relief of both cancer-related and treatment-related side effects. Furthermore, women also seek treatment to aid in superior outcomes and cure rates. Unfortunately, evidence suggests that the use of complementary and/or alternative medicine (CAM) is underreported or not discussed with physicians providing cancer care. In gynecologic cancer literature, there is a lack of scientific evidence either supporting or negating CAM. Because of the lack of information available, health care providers do not have good information regarding safety, efficacy, and dose of CAM. This leads to miscommunication or absence of communication between providers and patients. Because patients do use CAM to improve quality of life (QOL) during and after treatment, it would be educational for providers to know the specific QOL deficits among patients that require attention. Thus, with the ultimate goal of improving QOL for gynecologic cancer patients, providers should be pushed to investigate CAM and determine an honest support or rejection of these therapies.

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