Supportive Care in Cancer

, Volume 15, Issue 8, pp 999–1002 | Cite as

Cancer and complementary medicine: an international perspective

  • Vinjar FønnebøEmail author
  • Marja Verhoef
  • Charlotte Paterson
Short Communication


Throughout the world, people with cancer have a relatively high mortality rate, a relatively low cure rate and often experience multiple symptoms from cancer and its treatment. Cancer patients, understandably, explore all potential treatment options, including complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). Whilst most patients prefer having their diseases treated as close to home as possible, there is an increasing trend for patients to seek treatment in other countries and to explore a variety of cultural treatment paradigms. This trend particularly applies to CAM, which even more than conventional medicine shows considerable international variation in the type of treatment options available.

The increasing use of complementary, alternative and traditional medicines (e.g., traditional chinese medicine) in western countries is part of a worldwide globalisation process. Aspects of this process include increased access to information, increased sensitivity towards traditional...


Complementary and alternative medicine Cancer Research 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vinjar Fønnebø
    • 1
    Email author
  • Marja Verhoef
    • 2
  • Charlotte Paterson
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Medicine, National Research Center in Complementary and Alternative MedicineUniversity of TromsøTromsøNorway
  2. 2.Department of Community Health SciencesUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada
  3. 3.Institute of Health & Social Care ResearchPeninsula Medical School, St Luke’s CampusExeterUK

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