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

Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2006 Feb;12(1):34-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ctcp.2005.09.007. Epub 2005 Nov 14.


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.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Complementary Therapies / methods
  • Complementary Therapies / psychology
  • Complementary Therapies / statistics & numerical data*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Decision Making
  • Europe
  • Family
  • Female
  • Friends
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Humans
  • Israel
  • Lung Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Lung Neoplasms / psychology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motivation
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / psychology
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Turkey