Complementary and alternative medicine use in lung cancer patients in eight European countries

Alexander Molassiotis, Vassiliki Panteli, Elisabeth Patiraki, Gulten Ozden, Nurgun Platin, Elin Madsen, Maria Browall, Paz Fernandez-Ortega, Dorit Pud, Anita Margulies

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper presents findings from a cross-sectional survey about the use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) in patients with lung cancer, forming part of a larger study. Data from 111 lung cancer patients in 8 countries in Europe were collected through a descriptive 27-item questionnaire. The data suggest that 23.6% of the lung cancer patients used CAM after the diagnosis with cancer. The most popular CAM modalities were herbal medicine (48.1%), medicinal teas (11.5%), homeopathy (11.5%), use of animal extracts (11.5%) and spiritual therapies (11.5%). Herbal use increased by three times after the diagnosis of cancer. Patients seemed quite satisfied with the CAM used. They were also spending on average about 142 Euros monthly on CAM therapies or remedies. The most common motivation to use CAM was to increase the body's ability to fight the cancer. Main sources of information about CAM were friends and family. As CAM is increasingly used by patients with lung cancer, it is important to be able to assist patients make an appropriate decision by discussing the issue of CAM openly, providing reassurance and communicating safe and appropriate information to patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)34-39
Number of pages6
JournalComplementary Therapies in Clinical Practice
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2006


  • Alternative medicine
  • Complementary medicine
  • Complementary therapies
  • Lung cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Complementary and alternative medicine


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