ASIAN PACIFIC JOURNAL OF CANCER PREVENTION, vol.13, no.1, pp.21-25, 2012 (SCI-Expanded)
The use of complementary and alternative medicines (CAM) among women with gynecologic cancer is becoming increasingly popular. Therefore, it is important to gain insight into the prevalence and factors related to the use of CAM. The aim of this study was to assess the use of CAM in women with gynecologic cancer. This is a descriptive cross-sectional study. Data were obtained from 67 gynecological cancer patients at gynecologic oncology clinic of a hospital in Turkey between October 2009 to December 2010 using a questionnaire developed specifically for this study. The instrument included questions on socio-demographic information, disease specifics and complementary and alternative medicine usage. On the basis of women's responses, all participants were divided into 2 groups: CAM users and nonusers. The findings indicated that 61.2% of the women reported the use of 1 or more CAM therapies. There were no significant differences in the sociodemographic and clinical characteristics between CAM users and nonusers (P < 0.05). The most frequently used CAM method was herbal therapy (90.2%) and the second was prayer (41.5%). The main sources of information about CAM were informal (friends/family members). A considerable proportion (56.1%) of CAM users had discussed their CAM use with their physicians or nurses. Turkish women with gynecologic cancer frequently use CAM in addition to standard medical therapy. Nurses/oncologists caring for women with gynecologic cancer should initiate a dialogue about usage of CAM, discussing the potential adverse effects of CAM and the patient's therapeutic goals.