Do cancer patients with a poor prognosis use Complementary and Alternative Medicine more often than others?
Introduction: One reason for patients with cancer to use complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is that their cancer cannot be cured by conventional therapy. The aim of the present study is to explore whether use of CAM is associated with survival prognosis in long-term survivors of cancer. Materials and methods: Cancer patients who were alive 5 years or more after diagnosis were chosen to participate in the study, one group with less than 20% and another group with 40%–60% expected five-year survival at the time of diagnosis. A total of 735 patients received a four-page postal questionnaire about CAM use; 397 questionnaires were returned (response rate 54%). Results: The results are reported at five levels of CAM use. The poor prognosis group reported CAM use more often than the better prognosis group; however, only significantly higher at CAM level 2 (use of a CAM provider) (p = 0.021) and in use of self-support/CAM techniques (p < 0.001). Use of over-the-counter (OTC) dietary supplements and use of diet as treatment were not significantly different between the groups. Discussion: This study supports the suggestion that use of a CAM therapist and use of self-support/CAM techniques might be associated with less hope of cure given by the physician.
This article is part of Agnethe E. Kristoffersen's doctoral thesis, available in Munin at http://hdl.handle.net/10037/5255
ForlagMary Ann Liebert, Inc.
SiteringJournal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine 15(2009) nr. 1 s. 35-40
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