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Complementary and alternative medicine experience in radiation oncology patients:  first results of a multi-center approach
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2006 (English)In: Trace elements and electrolytes, ISSN 0946-2104, Vol. 23, no 4, 318-325 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In recent years the demand and use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) in malignant diseases has increased noticeably. Since the general knowledge about CAM use is scant and CAM could potentially interact with standard therapies the German Working group “Trace Elements and Electrolytes in Oncology” performed a multi-centric study to comprehensively evaluate the use of CAM therapies in cancer patients treated with radiotherapy. Methods: 1,013 patients receiving consecutively radiotherapy for malignant diseases were interviewed using a standardized questionnaire including clinical and pathological tumor parameters as well as the type of CAM and reasons for CAM use. A self-assessment of patients’ personal conditions was performed in order to evaluate the subjective impact of CAM on quality of life. Results: A total of 59% of patients reported using CAM therapies. CAM use was more common in female patients, generally higher in advanced stages of disease and most common in breast cancer patients. Most frequently reported CAM therapies were vitamins (18%), mistletoe extracts (15%), selenium (10%), and other trace element preparations (7%). Multivariate logistic regression showed age, gender, tumor type and stage, and smoking behavior to be significant predictors for CAM use. A subjective improvement in quality of life due to the use of CAM was accounted for in 30% of patients. Conclusions: More than half of patients undergoing RT for cancer are using CAM therapies. Therefore, radiation oncologists should be asking for respective obtaining information about CAM use in order to avoid harmful interactions with conventional therapies. The value and potential hazards of such combined treatments have yet to be tested in further clinical studies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2006. Vol. 23, no 4, 318-325 p.
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Cell and Molecular Biology
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URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-153855DOI: 10.5414/TEP23318OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-153855DiVA: diva2:418102
Available from: 2011-05-19 Created: 2011-05-19 Last updated: 2011-11-10Bibliographically approved

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Molecular and Morphological Pathology
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