It revealed that patients who are younger than 65 are more willing to try new treatments to ease their treatments when compared to the older patients.
Researchers are from the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.
For the study, researchers have looked at medical data of 969 participants who are diagnosed of different types of cancer.
The data collected between June 2010 and September 2011 were from the thoracic, gastrointestinal, and breast medical oncology clinics at an academic cancer center.
The participants were asked whether they have done any alternative treatments aside from their initial treatments.
Some of the alternative treatments include art therapy, acupuncture, yoga, massage, tai chi, special diets or herbal supplements.
The survey showed that 59 percent of the participants had tried alternative treatments since their diagnosis. Majority of them were female, working and under 65.
The participants who didn’t try alternative treatments said that they didn’t know that there are alternative treatments. Most of them also said that they don’t have insurance coverage as well.
Jun Mao, director of integrated oncology at the Abramson Cancer Center at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia said, “We found that specific attitudes and beliefs — such as expectation of therapeutic benefits, patient-perceived barriers regarding cost and access, and opinions of patients’ physician and family members — may predict patients’ use of complementary and alternative medicine following cancer diagnoses.”
Experts warned that patients must be careful on seeking alternative treatments because some practitioners are not knowledgeable in handling cancer patients.
Dr. Lorenzo Cohen, director of the integrative medicine program at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston and who was not part of the study said, “It’s very important that they have experience in working with cancer patients, and that they absolutely don’t recommend something in place of conventional care.”
Cohen added, “I wouldn’t go to a person who recommended supplements and told me to go off chemo, or someone who didn’t take the time to ask what medications I have had so far to treat cancer.”