Complementary and Alternative Medicine Use among Norwegian Cancer Survivors: Gender-Specific Prevalence and Associations for Use

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013;2013:318781. doi: 10.1155/2013/318781. Epub 2013 Mar 28.


The associations for CAM use are only occasionally differentiated by gender in populations where both male and female cancer survivors occur. The aim of this study is to describe the prevalence of CAM use in individuals with a previous cancer diagnosis and to investigate gender differences regard to factors associated with use. A total of 12982 men and women filled in a questionnaire with questions about life style and health issues. Eight hundred of those had a previous cancer diagnosis of whom 630 answered three questions concerning CAM use in the last 12 months. A total of 33.8% of all cancer survivors reported CAM use, 39.4% of the women and 27.9% of the men (P < 0.01). The relationship between the demographic variables and being a CAM user differed significantly between men and women with regard to age (P = 0.03), education (P = 0.04), and income (P < 0.01). Female CAM users were more likely to have a university degree than the nonusers, while male CAM users were more likely to have a lower income than the nonusers. According to this study, prevalence and factors associated with CAM use differ significantly between male and female survivors of cancer.