Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Linking breast cancer patients with alternative therapies

Date:
February 11, 2010
Source:
Michigan State University
Summary:
Biological-based therapies such as diet supplements and vitamins are the most popular complementary and alternative medicines for women recovering from breast cancer, according to a researcher working to create a support intervention for women in treatment for the disease.

Biological-based therapies such as diet supplements and vitamins are the most popular complementary and alternative medicines for women recovering from breast cancer, according to a Michigan State University researcher working to create a support intervention for women in treatment for the disease.

Gwen Wyatt of MSU's College of Nursing, in research published in the current edition of Nursing Research, analyzed which CAM therapies -- such as massage, supplements and reflexology -- are used the most and why. She looked at the five major categories of therapies: biological, mind-body, manipulative and body, energy and alternative medical systems.

"Quality of life is a research priority for the National Institutes of Health as it pertains to breast cancer," Wyatt said. "Patients link symptoms to quality of life; if you have to live with breast cancer, then let's have the highest quality of life we can during the process and make it as humane as possible."

She found that 57 percent of women are using CAM therapies, and the sicker a woman is the more likely she is to use multiple therapies. Besides biological-based therapies, the next most popular were mind-body therapies using audiotapes, video and music therapy. More than 200 women were part of the study.

"The more popular therapies selected might be rationalized by women viewing these categories as more closely aligned with their health care provider's recommendations," Wyatt said.

She is using the results of the study, which was funded by the U.S. Department of Defense, to help women identify which therapies will be most effective for them. CAM therapies have gained widespread use in the past decade; Wyatt is currently funded by the NIH with a $3.1 million grant to study the effects of reflexology -- a specialized foot therapy that applies firm pressure to certain parts of the sole of the foot -- on symptom management and quality of life for women with breast cancer.

Among her other findings:

  • The therapies with the highest mean spending (acupuncture and therapeutic touch at $45) were used by very few women, while vitamins, massage and homeopathy had an average total spending of $19.78 to $38.54 and were frequently used.
  • Women without at least some college education were less likely to use CAM therapies.
  • Employed women were more likely to use different types of therapies.
  • Women reported greater use of therapies that required fewer sessions.

With research findings in hand, Wyatt is working with Darcy Greene from the College of Communications Arts and Sciences and Alla Sikorskii from the Department of Statistics and Probability to create a decision support intervention for women newly diagnosed with breast cancer and those recovering from surgery. It will include a DVD and booklet, outlining therapies and their safety and effectiveness.

"Women are using these therapies, but they have little education about safety and efficacy," Wyatt said. "One report indicates up to 80 percent of women diagnosed with breast cancer are using CAM therapies."

"They could really benefit from information on how to make a wise decision and choose the best therapies."

That project is funded by two grants, one through the MSU College of Nursing Research Center and another via the Ohio State University Nursing Research Center.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Michigan State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Michigan State University. "Linking breast cancer patients with alternative therapies." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 February 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100211163124.htm>.
Michigan State University. (2010, February 11). Linking breast cancer patients with alternative therapies. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100211163124.htm
Michigan State University. "Linking breast cancer patients with alternative therapies." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100211163124.htm (accessed September 20, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Newsy (Sep. 20, 2014) Sierra Leone is locked down as aid workers and volunteers look for new cases of Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) A study suggest antidepressants can kick in much sooner than previously thought. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

AP (Sep. 19, 2014) A federal jury has convicted three people in connection with an outbreak of salmonella poisoning five years ago that sickened hundreds of people and was linked to a number of deaths. (Sept. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins