High use of cancer complementary methods

Aug. 5, 2008 at 2:27 PM
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WASHINGTON, Aug. 5 (UPI) -- Many cancer patients use complementary and alternative methods -- most often prayer, relaxation, supplements, meditation and massage, U.S. researchers said.

The study, appearing in the American Cancer Society journal Cancer, used data from more than 4,000 survivors of 10 different cancers participating in the American Cancer Society's Study of Cancer Survivors-I who were surveyed 10 to 24 months after diagnosis.

Study co-author Dr. Ted Gansler of the American Cancer Society said women, younger survivors, whites, individuals with higher income and those with more education were more likely to use complementary methods.

The study confirmed the findings of previous surveys that found cancer patients use the same complementary methods used among the general population and among people with other chronic diseases, such as spiritual practices, relaxation methods and dietary supplements.

"Our study found that several complementary methods types are used by nearly half of cancer survivors," Gansler said in a statement. "Surprisingly, other methods such as acupuncture and hypnosis were used by fewer than 2 percent of cancer survivors, even though recent studies found them to be useful in relieving some cancer-related symptoms, such as pain."

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