Objective: to assess the use of, knowledge about, and the demand for information concerning complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) in cancer patients.
Methods: A cross-sectional survey was performed on consecutive patients visiting the outpatient tumor treatment center of a university hospital at Munich, Germany. The authors used a questionnaire with questions on sociodemographics, tumor diagnosis and treatment, current symptoms, previous use of CAM, and expectations and attitudes with respect to CAM.
Results: 52% used at least 1 CAM method, 24% did not use CAM but asked for consultation, and 24% neither used CAM nor were interested; 59% rated CAM treatment as personally important; 76% and 34% described themselves as well informed about conventional treatment and CAM, respectively. Current CAM use was associated with higher degrees of information and subjective importance, and not suffering from lymphatic cancer and metastases.
Conclusions: CAM is a relevant topic for the care of cancer patients.