Complementary and alternative therapy use before and after breast cancer diagnosis: the Pathways Study
- 379 Downloads
Many women use complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) to maintain or improve their health. We describe CAM use among the first 1,000 participants enrolled in the Pathways Study, an ongoing prospective cohort study of women diagnosed with breast cancer (BC). Participants, identified by rapid case ascertainment in Kaiser Permanente Northern California, are women ≥ 21 years diagnosed with first invasive BC. Comprehensive baseline data are collected on CAM use through in-person interviews. Study participants include 70.9% non-Hispanic whites, 10.2% Hispanics, 9.0% Asians, 6.5% African–Americans, and 3.4% others. Most women (82.2%) were diagnosed with AJCC stage I/II BC at average (±SD) age 59.5 (±12.0) years and reported prior use of at least one form of CAM (96.5% of participants). In the 5 years before diagnosis, CAM therapies used at least weekly by >20% of women included green tea, glucosamine, omega-3 fatty acids, prayer and religion. CAM use was high (86.1% of participants) in the period immediately following diagnosis; 47.5% used botanical supplements, 47.2% used other natural products, 28.8% used special diets, 64.2% used mind-body healing, and 26.5% used body/energy/other treatments. In multivariable analyses, frequent use of each CAM modality before and after diagnosis was associated with use of other CAM modalities and other health behaviors (i.e., high fruit/vegetable intake, lower BMI). CAM use before and after BC diagnosis is common in this diverse group of women. Our results emphasize the need for clinicians to discuss CAM use with all BC patients.
KeywordsComplementary and alternative medicine Breast cancer Cohort study Epidemiology
We gratefully acknowledge all Pathways Study participants, as well as the office and field staff. This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health (CA094061, CA105274); the American Cancer Society (RSG-06-209-01-LR); and the Department of Defense (BC043120). The contents of this manuscript are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the funding agencies.
- 1.American Cancer Society (2008) Breast Cancer Facts & Figures 2007–2008. American Cancer Society Inc., AtlantaGoogle Scholar
- 2.National Centers for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, National Institutes of Health (2008) What is CAM? Available via http://nccam.nih.gov/health/whatiscam/
- 7.Pierce JP, Faerber S, Wright FA et al (2002) A randomized trial of the effect of a plant-based dietary pattern on additional breast cancer events and survival: the Women’s Healthy Eating and Living (WHEL) study. Control Clin Trials 23:728–756. doi:10.1016/S0197-2456(02)00241-6 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 9.Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics (2000) 1999–2000 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. NHANES 1999–2000 public data release file documentation. Available via: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhanes/gendoc.pdf
- 10.Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Center for Health Statistics (2002) 2000–2001 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. NHANES 2001–2002 public data general release file documentation. Available via: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhanes/nhanes_01_02/general_data_release_doc.pdf
- 11.Oehrli MD, Quesenberry CP, Leyden W (2006) Northern California Cancer Registry: 2006 Annual report on trends, incidence, and outcomes. Kaiser Permanente Northern California Cancer RegistryGoogle Scholar
- 12.Barnes PM, Powell-Griner E, McFann K et al (2004) Complementary and alternative medicine use among adults: United States, 2002. Adv Data:1–19Google Scholar