Oncologists underestimate the use of complementary medicine by patients


Oncologists can substantially underestimate how many breast cancer patients use complementary medicine, according to the results of a survey scheduled to be presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, held virtually June 4-8.

In late 2020, IQVIA conducted a national survey of 115 clinical oncologists treating breast cancer and 164 who had been diagnosed two years after the survey.

The researchers found that nearly three-quarters of patients (73 percent) reported using at least one type of complementary medicine afterwards , while oncologists believed the average was less than half (43 percent) of patients. Similar proportions of oncologists and patients believe that complementary and lifestyle therapies improve patients ’quality of life (66% of oncologists and 65% of patients). Among the 12 modalities evaluated, the strongest correlation was observed with a positive impact on quality of life for the use of tai chi / chi gong or acupuncture by patients. However, oncologists saw a nutritional consultation, , psycho-oncological support and physical exercise consultation as the most important integrative services and gave relatively low grades to spiritual services and meditation or attention.

“While it is effective in curing diseases, it can help cure patients, “said Wayne Jonas, MD, co-author of the report in a statement.” Patients resort to these therapies for [look]for hope and to improve their quality of life and well-being after diagnosis, but they seek more guidance from their oncologists. ”

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Citation: Oncologists Underestimate Patient Use of Complementary Medicine (2021, June 1), Retrieved June 1, 2021 at https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-06-oncologists-underestimate-patient -complementary-medicine.html

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