Trust in non-conventional therapies by cancer patients not matching awareness about risks
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IMAGE: Image provided by Dr. Audrey Bellesoeur related to abstract 1632P_PR. view more 

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Credit: @European Society for Medical Oncology

Lugano-Munich, 10 October 2018 – Sarcoma patients show great openness to the use of complementary alternative medicines (CAMs) for supportive care, but they are poorly informed about safety issues and risk of interactions with anti-cancer drugs, a study to be presented at ESMO 2018 reported. (1)

By administering a structured survey over a 4-month period (1 January – 30 April 2018), a team from the University Hospital Mannheim, Germany, investigated types and modes of use of non-conventional therapies among 152 outpatients with sarcoma, gastrointestinal stromal tumour (GIST) and desmoid tumours receiving care at a sarcoma centre. Researchers considered CAMs as a broad range of practices including supplementation of vitamins or minerals, Chinese or healing herbs, homeopathy, acupuncture, meditation, yoga, Tai Chi or changes in dietary habits, like switching to a ketogenic or vegan diet. The main results showed that 51% of participants had used alternative methods in their lifetime, and 15% of them only during the disease, in parallel with cancer treatments. Also, cancer diagnosis showed to have sparked patients’ interest in CAMs in 44% of participants.

Patients were shown to be selective in their

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