'Alternative' cancer treatments may have been outlawed, discredited or marginalized - but cancer patients still seek them out. Faced with the conventional route of cutting, burning or poisoning, around one-third of all cancer victims in Europe are using alternative therapies, a new study has discovered.
In Italy up to 73 percent of cancer patients use an alternative approach. The most likely person to use alternative therapy is younger, female and well-educated.
The most popular alternative therapy is herbal medicine, followed by homeopathy and vitamin and mineral supplements. In all, 58 different alternative approaches were mentioned in the study, conducted among members of the European Oncology Nursing Society.
The nurses believe it is vital that doctors and other hospital staff start discussing complementary and alternative therapies with patients.