BACKGROUND: Interest in alternative therapies is growing rapidly
in the United States. Researchers looked at the types and prevalence of conventional and alternative therapies used by women in four ethnic groups (Latino, white, black, and Chinese) diagnosed with breast cancer from 1990 through 1992 in San Francisco, CA, and explored factors influencing the choices of their therapies.
379 women were intereviewed via telephone in the language of their preference.
About one half of the women used at least one type of alternative therapy, and about one third used two types; most therapies were used for a duration of less than 6 months. Both the alternative therapies used and factors influencing the choice of therapy varied by ethnicity. Blacks most often used spiritual healing (36%), Chinese most often used herbal remedies (22%), and Latino women most often used dietary therapies (30%) and spiritual healing (26%). Among whites, 35% used dietary methods and 21% used physical methods, such as massage and acupuncture.
In general, women who had a higher educational level or income, were of younger age, had private insurance, and exercised or attended support groups were more likely to use alternative therapies. About half of the women using alternative therapies reported discussing this use with their physicians. More than 90% of the subjects found the therapies helpful and would recommend them to their friends.
CONCLUSIONS: Given the high prevalence of alternative therapies used
in San Francisco by the four ethnic groups and the relatively poor
communication between patients and doctors, physicians who treat
patients with breast cancer should initiate dialogues on this topic
to better understand patients' choices with regard to treatment options.
Journal of the National Cancer Institute January 5, 2000
Ann's NOTE: Research AGAIN confirms that many patients, regardless of ethnicity DO use alternative therapies. This study looked at use of alternative or complementary therapies from 1990-1992. Since then the use of these methods has grown. I am sure new studies will show greater use among all age groups and among all income levels.
As reported at ASCO 2000
Ask or they do not tell
CAM in Breast Ca Survivors: Nurses' Study
70+% Adults w/Cancer Use Alt Thrpies
Herbal Medicine-Elderly Hispanic/Non-Hispanic
Alternative Therapy Use: Elderly Afro-Am
Complementary, Alternative, Integrative or Unconventional Medicine?
CAM and Traditional Oncology
Cancer Pts Spend $500 Year:MORE Likely to Use Alt Med
Cancer Pts MORE Likely to Use Alternatives
CAM Use by Women Post/BCa Conventl Thrpy
Use of Alternative Therapy in a Randomized TRIAL
The Oncologist (Schwartz Ctr Rounds)
Alt Cures: "Unproven"/"Disproven"
Why patients want "alternatives"
J Pediatr Hematol Oncol. 2000;22(5):412-416.
Danish survey finds docs last
to want to know
Oncology Profsls & Cancer Pts Communicate on CAM
Use of CAM By Brazilian Oncologists
Join The Project in asking for
randomized clinical trials
Oncologists are concerned worldwide
Survey of Canadian Patients Using CAM (66%)
Israeli Survey of CAM Users (called CT)
3/4 of UK reast Cancer Patients Use CAM
Use of Alternative/complementary Therapy in Breast ca Pts
Swedish Women and CAM Use
Attitudes of Pts w/Breast Ca & Prostate Ca and CAM
Attitudes Toward CAM in Finland
March 2001 Poll
a Johns Hopkins publication
Doctors' Guide Report
on Hawaiin Patient Survey
Reuters Health Article, July, 2001
Cancer Practice, 7/19/01
Complementary Med & Genetic Testing Program
Ann Intern Med, 9/01
CAM for Breast Cancer
Annals of Internal Med
Arch Internal Medicine,
Supplement Use Among Cancer Survivors:VITAL Study
The Scientist, Dec, 2001
Am J Health-Syst Pharm, 4/02
Not necessarily about cancer drugs
Specific Natural Substances-Drug Interactions
Cancer Practice, 7/02
Cancer Control, 2002
Source: Tim Bolen, Consumer Advocate
Wisconsin & Quackbusters
J Gen Internal Med, 1/04
Cancer Supportive Care: Yoga, Massage, Qigong
Psychologic Interventions Produce GREAT Results
Eur J Cancer, 3/04
LINK to journal homepage
LINK to many topics of journals
in the alternative med world
Integr Cancer Ther. 2008 Sep
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