Effects of Complementary and Integrative Medicine on Cancer Survivorship

  • Moshe FrenkelEmail author
  • Victor Sierpina
  • Kenneth Sapire
Integrative Care (C Lammersfeld, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Integrative Care


Cancer survivorship has become a topic of great interest in the past few years. Unfortunately, even with successful treatment as well as good follow-up care, many patients continue to experience unmet physical, emotional, and spiritual needs as well as having an unsettling fear, fear of recurrence, a fear which most survivors share, even many years after their treatment ended. As a result, patients are continually looking for additional ways to address these needs and fears. Among the most popular approach is the use of complementary and integrative medicine (CIM). Most studies on CIM use among cancer patients and survivors concentrate on symptom improvement and improvement of quality of life and do not touch a crucial question if these therapies can affect patients’ survival in terms of prolongation of life. Interestingly, in recent years, there are a growing number of studies that suggest that approaches such as mind-body interventions, enhanced general nutrition, nutritional supplements, physical activity, and other CIM approaches may have a positive effect on survival of cancer patients. Although additional studies are needed to confirm these findings, given the low cost of these CIM interventions, their minimal risk, and the potential magnitude of their effects, these approaches might be considered as additional important tools to integrate into cancer survivorship care plans.


Cancer survivorship Unmet needs Cancer care Complementary medicine Integrative medicine Cancer prognosis Nutrition Nutritional supplements Exercise Mind body medicine 


Compliance with Ethics Guidelines

Conflict of Interest

Moshe Frenkel, Victor Sierpina, and Kenneth Sapire declare that they have 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.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Moshe Frenkel
    • 1
    • 2
    • 4
    Email author
  • Victor Sierpina
    • 1
  • Kenneth Sapire
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Family MedicineThe University of Texas Medical Branch at GalvestonGalvestonUSA
  2. 2.Integrative Medicine UnitInstitute of Oncology Meir Medical CenterKfar SabaIsrael
  3. 3.Department of AnesthesiaThe University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer CenterHoustonUSA
  4. 4.Zichron YaacovIsrael

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