Cancer patients keep mum about alternative therapies

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Nov. 7, 2005

Print  |   Email  |   Respond  |   Reprints  |   Like Facebook  |   Share Twitter  |   Tweet Linkedin

Nearly half of all patients being treated for cancer also are using complementary and alternative treatments, but few tell their physicians, according to a study presented at the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology meeting in Denver last month.

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia surveyed nearly 500 cancer patients about their use of vitamin supplements, massage and other alternative strategies. About 48% were using these or other modalities, although those who were being treated with chemotherapy were far more likely than those being treated with radiation to take this route. Only 36% consulted their physician about these therapies.

"This study shows the significant lack of communication between patients and their doctors about the use of complementary and alternative medicines," said Neha Vapiwala, MD, lead author and a radiation oncologist at the university.

Note: This item originally appeared at

Back to top



Read story

Confronting bias against obese patients

Medical educators are starting to raise awareness about how weight-related stigma can impair patient-physician communication and the treatment of obesity. Read story

Read story


American Medical News is ceasing publication after 55 years of serving physicians by keeping them informed of their rapidly changing profession. Read story

Read story

Policing medical practice employees after work

Doctors can try to regulate staff actions outside the office, but they must watch what they try to stamp out and how they do it. Read story

Read story

Diabetes prevention: Set on a course for lifestyle change

The YMCA's evidence-based program is helping prediabetic patients eat right, get active and lose weight. Read story

Read story

Medicaid's muddled preventive care picture

The health system reform law promises no-cost coverage of a lengthy list of screenings and other prevention services, but some beneficiaries still might miss out. Read story

Read story

How to get tax breaks for your medical practice

Federal, state and local governments offer doctors incentives because practices are recognized as economic engines. But physicians must know how and where to find them. Read story

Read story

Advance pay ACOs: A down payment on Medicare's future

Accountable care organizations that pay doctors up-front bring practice improvements, but it's unclear yet if program actuaries will see a return on investment. Read story

Read story

Physician liability: Your team, your legal risk

When health care team members drop the ball, it's often doctors who end up in court. How can physicians improve such care and avoid risks? Read story

  • Stay informed
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • RSS
  • LinkedIn