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Trends in complementary/alternative medicine use by breast cancer survivors: comparing survey data from 1998 and 2005.

Boon HS, Olatunde F, Zick SM - BMC Womens Health (2007)

Bottom Line: In 1998, 66.7% of women reported using either a CAM product/therapy or seeing a CAM therapist at some time in their lives as compared with 81.9% in 2005 (p = 0.0002).Increases were seen in both use of CAM products/therapies (62% in 1998 vs. 70.6% in 2005) and visits to CAM practitioners (39.4% of respondents in 1998 vs 57.4% of respondents in 2005).CAM use (both self-medication with products and visits to CAM practitioners) increased significantly from 1998 to 2005.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy and Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. heather.boon@utoronto.ca

ABSTRACT

Background: Use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) by women with breast cancer is often said to be increasing, yet few data exist to confirm this commonly held belief. The purpose of this paper is to compare overall patterns of CAM use, as well as use of specific products and therapies at two different points in time (1998 vs 2005) by women diagnosed with breast cancer.

Methods: Surveys were mailed to women randomly selected from the Ontario Cancer Registry (Canada) in the spring of 1998 (n = 557) and again in the spring of 2005(n = 877).

Results: The response rates were 76.3% in 1998 and 63% in 2005. In 1998, 66.7% of women reported using either a CAM product/therapy or seeing a CAM therapist at some time in their lives as compared with 81.9% in 2005 (p = 0.0002). Increases were seen in both use of CAM products/therapies (62% in 1998 vs. 70.6% in 2005) and visits to CAM practitioners (39.4% of respondents in 1998 vs 57.4% of respondents in 2005). Women in 2005 reported that 41% used CAM for treating their breast cancer. The most commonly used products and practitioners for treating breast cancer as reported in 2005 were green tea, vitamin E, flaxseed, vitamin C, massage therapists and dietitians/nutritionists.

Conclusion: CAM use (both self-medication with products and visits to CAM practitioners) increased significantly from 1998 to 2005. Now that more than 80% of all women with breast cancer report using CAM (41% in a specific attempt to management their breast cancer), CAM use can no longer be regarded as an "alternative" or unusual approach to managing breast cancer.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

Derivation of the sample.
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Figure 1: Derivation of the sample.

Mentions: At both time points (1998 and 2005), a random sample of women 18 years and older and diagnosed with breast cancer were selected from the Ontario Cancer Registry based on pathology reports (See Figure 1). A mailed reminder letter was posted approximately one week following the initial mail out. In addition, approximately three weeks after the initial mailing, a final reminder letter and second survey was mailed to each non-respondent. This Registry is a computerized database that contains information on virtually all Ontario residents diagnosed with cancer. As stipulated by the Registry, permission to contact each woman was requested from her family physician or oncologist. Up to three telephone reminders were provided in attempts to obtain responses from as many physicians as possible. Surveys were mailed to all women for whom permission and mailing addresses were received. Women who did not respond to two follow-up letters were identified as non-responders. See Figure 1 for details on the derivation of the sample.


Trends in complementary/alternative medicine use by breast cancer survivors: comparing survey data from 1998 and 2005.

Boon HS, Olatunde F, Zick SM - BMC Womens Health (2007)

Derivation of the sample.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC1851951&req=5

Figure 1: Derivation of the sample.
Mentions: At both time points (1998 and 2005), a random sample of women 18 years and older and diagnosed with breast cancer were selected from the Ontario Cancer Registry based on pathology reports (See Figure 1). A mailed reminder letter was posted approximately one week following the initial mail out. In addition, approximately three weeks after the initial mailing, a final reminder letter and second survey was mailed to each non-respondent. This Registry is a computerized database that contains information on virtually all Ontario residents diagnosed with cancer. As stipulated by the Registry, permission to contact each woman was requested from her family physician or oncologist. Up to three telephone reminders were provided in attempts to obtain responses from as many physicians as possible. Surveys were mailed to all women for whom permission and mailing addresses were received. Women who did not respond to two follow-up letters were identified as non-responders. See Figure 1 for details on the derivation of the sample.

Bottom Line: In 1998, 66.7% of women reported using either a CAM product/therapy or seeing a CAM therapist at some time in their lives as compared with 81.9% in 2005 (p = 0.0002).Increases were seen in both use of CAM products/therapies (62% in 1998 vs. 70.6% in 2005) and visits to CAM practitioners (39.4% of respondents in 1998 vs 57.4% of respondents in 2005).CAM use (both self-medication with products and visits to CAM practitioners) increased significantly from 1998 to 2005.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy and Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. heather.boon@utoronto.ca

ABSTRACT

Background: Use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) by women with breast cancer is often said to be increasing, yet few data exist to confirm this commonly held belief. The purpose of this paper is to compare overall patterns of CAM use, as well as use of specific products and therapies at two different points in time (1998 vs 2005) by women diagnosed with breast cancer.

Methods: Surveys were mailed to women randomly selected from the Ontario Cancer Registry (Canada) in the spring of 1998 (n = 557) and again in the spring of 2005(n = 877).

Results: The response rates were 76.3% in 1998 and 63% in 2005. In 1998, 66.7% of women reported using either a CAM product/therapy or seeing a CAM therapist at some time in their lives as compared with 81.9% in 2005 (p = 0.0002). Increases were seen in both use of CAM products/therapies (62% in 1998 vs. 70.6% in 2005) and visits to CAM practitioners (39.4% of respondents in 1998 vs 57.4% of respondents in 2005). Women in 2005 reported that 41% used CAM for treating their breast cancer. The most commonly used products and practitioners for treating breast cancer as reported in 2005 were green tea, vitamin E, flaxseed, vitamin C, massage therapists and dietitians/nutritionists.

Conclusion: CAM use (both self-medication with products and visits to CAM practitioners) increased significantly from 1998 to 2005. Now that more than 80% of all women with breast cancer report using CAM (41% in a specific attempt to management their breast cancer), CAM use can no longer be regarded as an "alternative" or unusual approach to managing breast cancer.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus