Reasons to Use and Disclose Use of Complementary Medicine Use – An Insight from Cancer Patients

Kristen N Arthur, Juan Carlos Belliard, Steven B. Hardin, Kathryn Knecht, Chien-Shing Chen, Susanne Montgomery


Studies have shown a high prevalence (40-83%) of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) use among cancer patients in the U.S. A cross-sectional, mixed-methods pilot study was completed. This paper focuses on the quantitative analysis conducted on demographic predictors of complementary medicine (CM) use, reasons to use CM, and disclosure to healthcare provider data. Surveys were interview-administered at the Loma Linda University Medical Center Cancer Center. Participants, 18 years or older, were selected from a convenient sample. Eighty-seven percent (87.9%) of participants reported to have used CM as a cancer treatment and most reported to have used it “to help fight the cancer.” Women were eight-times more likely to use prayer. All non-Caucasian and Hispanic participants reported to use CM as a cancer therapy and none reported to use a CM provider. More women (72%) disclosed their CM use than men (53.3%). Different prevalences and predictors exist when differentiating CM modalities, reasons to use CM vary by gender, and disclosure proportions vary by gender.

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Cancer and Clinical Oncology   ISSN 1927-4858(Print)   ISSN 1927-4866(Online)   Email:

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