Appropriate Use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine Approaches in Gynecologic Cancers
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Gynecologic cancer patients frequently desire alternative and/or complementary interventions or medicines to aid in relief of both cancer-related and treatment-related side effects. Furthermore, women also seek treatment to aid in superior outcomes and cure rates. Unfortunately, evidence suggests that the use of complementary and/or alternative medicine (CAM) is underreported or not discussed with physicians providing cancer care. In gynecologic cancer literature, there is a lack of scientific evidence either supporting or negating CAM. Because of the lack of information available, health care providers do not have good information regarding safety, efficacy, and dose of CAM. This leads to miscommunication or absence of communication between providers and patients. Because patients do use CAM to improve quality of life (QOL) during and after treatment, it would be educational for providers to know the specific QOL deficits among patients that require attention. Thus, with the ultimate goal of improving QOL for gynecologic cancer patients, providers should be pushed to investigate CAM and determine an honest support or rejection of these therapies.
KeywordsComplementary medicine Alternative medicine Gynecologic cancer Ovarian cancer Cervical cancer
Conflict of Interest
Dana M. Chase declares that she has no conflict of interest. Steven J. Gibson declares that he has no conflict of interest. Daniele A. Sumner declares that she has no conflict of interest. Jennifer W. Bea declares that she has no conflict of interest. David S. Alberts declares that he has no conflict of interest.
Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent
This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.
References and Recommended Reading
Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance
- 1.National Institutes of Health: National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM). Available at: http://nccam.nih.gov/health/whatiscam. Accessed September 23, 2013.
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