Alternative medicine use worldwide: the International Union Against Cancer survey

Cancer. 2001 Apr 1;91(7):1390-3. doi: 10.1002/1097-0142(20010401)91:7<1390::aid-cncr1143>;2-c.


Background: In the current study, the authors attempted to surmount the deficiencies of previous surveys and elicit information regarding the use of alternative treatments of cancer worldwide.

Methods: The International Union Against Cancer (UICC), an international, nongovernment volunteer organization, E-mailed a questionnaire concerning alternative therapy use to its members.

Results: A total of 83 responses from 33 countries were received. Descriptive analyses of this dataset were conducted, indicating the existence of a large and heterogeneous group of unproved remedies used to treat cancer in both developed and developing countries around the world.

Conclusions: Improved public education concerning the importance of early medical attention and the value of documented cancer therapies, the wider availability of useful cancer treatments, and public policies that are sensitive to the patient's need to play a meaningful role in his or her own care are required.

MeSH terms

  • Complementary Therapies / statistics & numerical data*
  • Data Collection
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / therapy*