ABSTRACT: Oncologists' and Naturopaths' Nutrition Beliefs and
Purpose: Despite the widespread use of complementary and alternative
therapies by persons with cancer, little is known about how the
understandings of complementary and alternative practitioners
of these therapies compare with those of conventional physicians.
The broad purpose of this research was, thus, to explore the
beliefs of physicians and complementary and alternative health
practitioners, their use of scientific and other types of evidence,
and their counseling practices.
The specific issue addressed
was the beliefs and practices of oncologists and naturopaths
regarding the role of diet in breast cancer prevention and treatment.
Results: The oncologists believed that there is little evidence
of a role for diet in breast cancer prevention and treatment,
citing the lack of evidence from randomized controlled trials.
They reported that they provide only general advice on healthy
eating to patients. The naturopaths believed that diet is strongly
implicated in breast cancer development, prevention, and treatment.
They justified this belief by using scientific evidence from
a variety of types of studies, logic or common sense, and their
Naturopaths reported that they provide
patients with specific suggestions for foods to avoid or to emphasize
Clinical implications: The differences in the advice provided
by oncologists and naturopaths are associated with different
decision-making or knowledge construction systems. Educating
patients about these differences will help patients to make more
informed healthcare choices.
[05/01/2001; Cancer Practice]
Patients must "stay vigilant
and follow the researh"
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