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Use of complementary/alternative therapies by women with advanced-stage breast cancer.

Author information

1
Laboratory of Clinical Sciences, National Institute of Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA. jshen@nih.gov

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

This study sought to describe the pattern of complementary/alternative medicine (CAM) use among a group of patients with advanced breast cancer, to examine the main reasons for their CAM use, to identify patient's information sources and their communication pattern with their physicians.

METHODS:

Face-to-face structured interviews of patients with advanced-stage breast cancer at a comprehensive oncology center.

RESULTS:

Seventy three percent of patients used CAM; relaxation/meditative techniques and herbal medicine were the most common. The most commonly cited primary reason for CAM use was to boost the immune system, the second, to treat cancer; however these reasons varied depending on specific CAM therapy. Friends or family members and mass media were common primary information source's about CAM.

CONCLUSIONS:

A high proportion of advanced-stage breast cancer patients used CAM. Discussion with doctors was high for ingested products. Mass media was a prominent source of patient information. Credible sources of CAM information for patients and physicians are needed.

PMID:
12175424
PMCID:
PMC122074
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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