Exploring the patient experience of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) can provide insight into the needs, preferences and values of patients with an neuroendocrine tumour (NET). Use and interest in CAM after a NET diagnosis has not been investigated until now. The authors aimed to identify the types of CAM being used by patients undergoing chemotherapy and what types of CAM patients considered most beneficial. Patients were identified for clinical audit from one hospital's NET nurse chemotherapy database. A questionnaire was given to 79 patients who had completed intravenous chemotherapy during the previous 3 years. CAM use by NET patients was found to be popular and included practices to support both physical and emotional health. Massage and taking vitamin and mineral supplements were most widely used. The antioxidant effects of some high-dose supplements may impact on chemotherapy outcomes. Massage, despite its irregular use, was perceived by patients to be the most useful CAM.
Keywords: Chemotherapy; Complementary and alternative medicine; Massage; Neuroendocrine tumours; Therapeutics; Vitamin and mineral supplements.