Cancer Patients Often Use Complementary Methods

In addition to conventional treatments aimed at improving survival, most cancer patients use “complementary methods” (CMs) to relieve symptoms and side effects and increase overall wellness, according to findings from a large study.

The study by the Atlanta-based research team included 4139 adults diagnosed with one of 10 common cancers who were surveyed 10 to 24 months after diagnosis. The results are reported in the medical journal Cancer.

Of 19 CMs included in the survey, the most frequently cited was prayer/spiritual practice, reported by 61 percent of respondents.

Use of relaxation, faith/spiritual healing, and nutritional supplements/vitamins were each reported by more than 40 percent. Between 10 and 15 percent were involved in meditation, religious counseling, massage, and support groups.

Female gender, younger age, white race, higher income, and educational achievement were all predictive of using CMs. However, African Americans had a greater tendency to use “mind-body methods,” including spiritual practices.

One result that is especially interesting is the substantial differences in use of CMs by gender and type of cancer.

The gender gap was particularly wide for energy medicine (tai chi and yoga) and for massage, while CMs in general were much more popular among breast and ovarian cancer survivors than among people with other cancers.

Read more at Reuters


Posted in: Complementary Medicine

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  1. Nishit says:

    I believe a good network of support and understanding is essential. It helps to keep a positive attitude and to have the will to make it through the ordeal.

    There are many excellent complementary therapies used and I’m sure that for each one, there will be some good testimonials.

    My aunt recently passed away, after a long battle with breat cancer – only later did I find out that complementary thereapies and certain nutritional, whole food supplements could have helped improve her condition.

  2. Shunya says:

    My brother in law was diagnosed with B-cell lymphoma. In addition to his medical treatments, he practiced the techniques in the book “Soul Mind Body Medicine”. He is complete remission from this normally very virulent form of cancer. We are so very grateful to western medicine and to Dr. Sha, the author of the book.

  3. Dan says:

    @ Tony – Agreed, I guess it is only natural to consider more prayer and spiritual aspects when faced with a life threatening condition. And yes, if it helps someone then who cares!
    Having a good balanced nutritional programme will also help the body deal with the extra burden placed on it by providing the building blocks to repair damaged tissue and fight infection. Dr Bruce Dewe, on his DVD “Cancer prevention”, talks in detail about the benefits of a Phytodefence programme.

  4. Tony says:

    I am not very surprised that people use complimentary methods when faced with a life threatening illness. It is one of the few things a patient can do to help themselves, especially when all hope is gone. That is the one thing that the patient has left.

    There are a lot of skeptics around about the validity of prayer and meditation etc, but from my point of view if the patient is happy to it and its helping them then who cares?

  5. prana can also be a choice treatment

  6. wackpoll says:

    Complementary therapies means one type of treatment of cancer such as prayer, relaxation, meditation and massage which are largely influenced by sex, race, age and education. Now some positive results are coming.