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Use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine Among Iranian Cancer Patients in South of Iran

Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is defined as a group of medical practices, ingested therapies and other products that are not generally considered as an adjunct to conventional treatments. Many types of CAM, such as acupuncture, manipulative therapies, herbs and vitamins, homeopathic remedies and spiritual techniques have been recognized. Cancer is one of the most common worldwide diseases that none of the conventional strategies (surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy) can eliminate its cells completely. Furthermore, many serious side effects are often left using these routine therapies. Because conventional therapies cannot differentiate between cancer cells and healthy cells, they damage both types of cells. Therefore, many cancer patients seek a wide range of CAM. The most popular therapies seem to be dietary treatments, herbalism, homeopathy and hypnotherapy. Recent reports from the United States and European countries showed that 91% and 35.9% of cancer patients were using at least one form of CAM, respectively. A Japanese study reported 44.6% CAM use among cancer patients. According to Montazeri et al. study, 219 out of 625 Iranian cancer patients used CAM and indicated that apart from prayer and spiritual healing, the use of other common methods of CAM among Iranian cancer patients is unpopular. Use of CAM has many reasons including symptom/side effect relief, strengthening the immune system of the body to fight the disease, improving physical and/or emotional wellbeing and improving quality of life. However, the use of alternative therapies by Iranian cancer patients and their satisfaction from using these remedies still needs to be elucidated.

Thus, the aims of this study were to determine the use of complementary and alternative therapy and associated factors among cancer patients, reasons behind this use, satisfaction and information about complementary and alternative therapy.

Resource: Int J Cancer Manag. 2017 October; 10(10):e7233


Fatemeh Amirmoezi, Maryam Araghizadeh, Zahra Mohebbinia, Roza Kamfiroozi, Sezaneh Haghpanahand Mohammadreza Bordbar

* Hematology Research Center, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

* Amir Oncology Hospital, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

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