Complementary and alternative medicine for women with cancer: How can health care professionals provide realistic hope for improved wellbeing?

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialResearch

Abstract

[Extract]
“It’s all natural, so it shouldn’t hurt me” [1]. Women with cancer have expressed this belief about complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) use alongside conventional medicine [1]. Whilst half of patients with cancer use CAM, the most common predictor of use is the female sex. CAM use has been reported in up to 60% of patients with breast cancer [2] and up to 90% in other female populations [3]. Some evidence exists to support the efficacy of both pharmacological (e.g., oral, topical, or intravenous dietary supplement and herbal products) and non-pharmacological CAM (e.g., massage, meditation, acupuncture, and chiropractic) in supporting women through their cancer trajectory [2, 3]. However, concerns regarding safety and non-disclosure of use to conventional multidisciplinary cancer care professionals suggests support could be improved [1]. This commentary discussed the prevalence, motives, efficacy, and safety of CAM use in women with cancer, and proposed initial steps for facilitating the integration of CAM and conventional cancer care, to meet patient demands.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)72-73
Number of pages2
JournalMaturitas
Volume159
Early online date29 Jan 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2022

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