More Than Half of Younger Cancer Patients Have Tried Alternative Therapies

Cancer patients under the age of 65 are much more likely to try alternative and complimentary medicine to ease their symptoms and the side effects of their cancer treatments.

Baby boomers and younger cancer patients are much more open to alternative and complementary medicine compared with older generations, according to a new study.

Jun Mao, MD, director of integrated oncology at the Abramson Cancer Center at the University of Pennsylvania, and colleagues found that patients under the age of 65 were more likely to explore alternative therapies to ease their symptoms and the side effects of their cancer treatments. The researchers attributed this large gap between generations to the social change that took part in the US in the 1960s and 1970s.

The researchers surveyed adults with breast, lung, and gastrointestinal tumors and found that about 59% had tried at least one form of complimentary or alternative therapy such as acupuncture, chiropractic care, art therapy, massage, yoga, tai chi, special diets, or herbal supplements, since their diagnosis. The average age of participants was 59 years with 63% women and most were white and college educated.

Read more at Reuters: http://reut.rs/1JXlhBS