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Men with prostate cancer use complementary therapy

Posted Sep 22 2008 11:03am
prostate cancer The latest UK research has discovered that the use of complementary therapy among men with prostate cancer is commonplace.

Researchers have also found that many patients don't let their doctors know about the therapy which is recommended given the potential risk of interaction with traditional medication.

The research involved a survey of nearly 300 UK males with an average age of 70 who were receiving outpatient treatment for prostate cancer at a London hospital.

Participants were questioned about their use of complementary therapies and researchers found that 25% reported using complementary therapy and half of those were using three or more.

The popular therapies were low-fat diets, vitamin supplements and lycopene which is a chemical found in tomatoes that is believed to help with prostate cancer prevention.

Mind/body and physical complementary therapies were also used for longer periods than nutritional therapies but less common.

However, 43% of those using complementary therapies had not informed their doctors that they were using complementary methods.

"The popularity of complementary therapies has grown considerably in Western societies over the last decade," explain Dr Susie Wilkinson, from the Royal Free and University College Medical School in London, UK, and team.

"Even though complementary therapy use is common, there appears to be a lack of information exchanged between patients and their doctors.

"Clinicians need to be aware of the prevalence of complementary therapy use amongst patients with prostate cancer, considering the potential harm that could be caused by interactions with conventional treatments."

Consulting your GP and doctor is recommended when considering alternative medicine and complementary therapy. An effective dialogue between patient, doctor and therapist is a vital part of an effective treatment program.

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