Survey: Most Most cancers Sufferers Use Complementary or Different Medicine

In a latest survey, 70% of most cancers clients explained they use complementary or substitute drugs as component of their cancer care.

About 30% of patients mentioned they use complementary or choice medicine as anticancer treatment, and about 27% of end users said they did not tell their oncologist they were being working with complementary or different drugs.

These results had been published in JCO Oncology Observe.

Keep on Studying

The survey was dispersed to 2 cancer centers in the identical city involving 2020 and 2021. A complete of 749 sufferers accomplished the study, which provided questions about complementary or alternate medication use, informational resources, and rely on of resources.

The median age of the cohort was 63 (range, 52-71) years, 51.8% had been gentlemen, 94.8% have been White, and 49.8% had metastatic illness. People experienced breast (22.7%), prostate (18.6%), colorectal (11.7%), pores and skin (10.5%), lung (9.1%), or other cancers.

Anticancer solutions provided surgical procedures (64.9%), chemotherapy (47.5%), radiation (44.2%), and endocrine treatment (25.1%). A minority of people described acquiring no directed most cancers therapy (3.1%). The median time from diagnosis to survey administration was 15 (vary, 6-36) months.

Use of Complementary or Alternate Drugs

Over-all, 70.2% of individuals said they utilised complementary or choice medication (not like head-physique interventions) as portion of cancer treatment. People utilised complementary or option medication to deal with their symptoms (42.2%), take care of their most cancers (30.4%), strengthen their psychological overall health (15.5%), or for other good reasons (11.8%).

Vitamin D was the most normally used complementary or option drugs (32.1%), followed by fish oil (11.6%) and a vegetarian diet (6.1%).

Most individuals (91.2%) noted utilizing complementary or different drugs in addition to traditional drugs, but 27.1% of these sufferers did not explain to their dealing with oncologist about this.

Sixteen patients mentioned they made use of complementary or option medication to take care of their most cancers as an alternative of standard drugs, and 5 of these sufferers (31.3%) did not notify their managing oncologist.

Sources of Details

Most patients (n=624) reported they experienced obtained a advice for or read about complementary or substitute medication, most typically natural vitamins/minerals (51.7%), herbs/dietary supplements (43.8%), particular weight loss plans (39.5%), or thoughts-entire body interventions (38.3%).

Of the 309 patients who noted how they discovered about complementary or different medicine, 16.8% said they seemed for data them selves, 36.6% reported they acquired the facts from anyone else, and 46.6% claimed the two.

Resources of complementary or substitute medication integrated close close friends or relations (52.8%), distant good friends (28.5%), social media (25.9%), internet websites (25.2%), support groups or other patients (22.7%), cancer medical professionals (17.8%), naturopaths (12.6%), other physicians (12.%), news media (11.7%), and other sources.  

Belief in Sources

Most clients who applied complementary or choice medication (86.6%) mentioned they had been relatively or really very likely to belief oncologists as a resource of data.

In comparison to people who did not use complementary or option medication, patients who did had higher costs of trust in chiropractors (P =.002), assistance teams (P <.002), close friends/family (P =.002), and distant friends, associates, or relatives (P =.007).

In a multivariate analysis, trust in a nonmedical source for complementary or alternative medicine information was significantly more likely among women than men (odds ratio [OR], 1.75 95% CI, 1.01-3.03 P =.05).

The analysis also showed that patients with a graduate degree were significantly less likely than patients without a college degree to trust a non-physician source (OR, 0.32 95% CI, 0.19-0.53 P <.01).

“Although patients most commonly heard about CAM [complementary or alternative medicine] from nonmedical sources, their reported trust in physicians remains high, regardless of the decision to use CAM,” the researchers wrote. “Our findings support the role of clinicians as trusted information sources for patients and identify an important opportunity for combating cancer treatment-related misinformation.”

Disclosures: Some study authors declared affiliations with biotech, pharmaceutical, and/or device companies. Please see the original reference for a full list of disclosures.


Hutten RJ, Weil CR, King AJ, et al. Multi-institutional analysis of cancer patient exposure, perceptions, and trust in information sources regarding complementary and alternative medicine. JCO Oncol Pract. Published online September 18, 2023. doi:10.1200/OP.23.00179

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