Importance of complementary medicine approaches for patients with prostate cancer - Abstract

BACKGROUND: In Germany, many prostate cancer patients use complementary medicine (CM) or have an interest in these treatment approaches; however, the information and consultation situation of cancer patients is insufficient and therefore the Competence Network Complementary Medicine in Oncology (COCON) was launched by the German Cancer Aid Society.

One of the projects of the COCON examines the use of CM and the information and counseling needs regarding these topics in various groups of cancer patients. The focus of this article is on the qualitative study reporting selected results for the subgroup of prostate cancer patients.

STUDY DESIGN AND STUDY METHODS: A total of 19 semi-structured qualitative interviews with prostate cancer patients were conducted regarding the use of CM as well as their information and consultation needs.

RESULTS: It was found that the patients interviewed discussed various issues surrounding nutrition, particularly a healthy diet, the selective use of certain foods and the use of dietary supplements. Additional themes mentioned by interviewees were physical exercise, psychological well-being, mistletoe therapy, homeopathy and traditional Chinese medicine. Patients indicated that they wanted more information and counseling opportunities with regards to CM. They also expressed a desire for more holistic care.

CONCLUSION: The results show that prostate cancer patients use a range of CM and have a need for information about CM. Prostate cancer patients are in a special situation because of a regular feedback on the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) value. This should be taken into consideration in consultation with prostate cancer patients regarding CM.

Written by:
Gschwendtner KM, Klein G, Güthlin C, Holmberg C, Horneber M, Weis J.   Are you the author?
Institut für Reha-Forschung und Psychoonkologie, Klinik für Tumorbiologie, Breisacher Straße 117, 79106, Freiburg, Deutschland.

Reference: Urologe A. 2014 Nov;53(11):1600-9.
doi: 10.1007/s00120-014-3613-2

PubMed Abstract
PMID: 25297489

Article in German. Prostate Cancer Section