Cancer patients from different age group also have different views on alternative treatments to cure their illness, according to a new study. Younger patients age below 65 show willingness to try new treatments to cure their disease as compared to older patients.
The medical data of 969 participants diagnosed with different types of cancer were examined by researchers from the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, collected from June 2010 to September 2011 from the breast, gastrointestinal, thoracic and medical oncology clinics at the academic cancer center.
Participants were inquired whether they have undergone alternative treatments besides their initial treatments.
The alternative treatments included, acupuncture, art therapy massage, yoga, tai chi, herbal supplements or special diets.
59 percent of the participants underwent alternative treatments since they were diagnosed. Majority of them were working, female and under the age of 65.
The respondents who did not try alternative treatments said they were not aware that there are alternative treatments.
Director of integrated oncology, Abramson Cancer Center at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Jun Mao said, “We found that specific attitudes and beliefs — such as expectation of therapeutic benefits, patient-perceived barriers regarding cost and access, and opinions of patients’ physician and family members, may predict patients’ use of complementary and alternative medicine following cancer diagnoses.”
Patients were warned by experts to be extra careful in seeking alternative treatments because some practitioners are not very knowledgeable in dealing and handling cancer patients.