Cancer patients keep mum about alternative therapies
NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Nov. 7, 2005
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 http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2005/11/07/hlbf1107.htm.