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Gwen Wyatt, PhD, RN, Professor, College of Nursing, Michigan State University, discusses the use of complementary therapies in cancer care.
The latest research, Wyatt says, shows that 80% of patients with breast cancer use complementary therapies. This is a compelling fact and can be problematic if these therapies are being used without adequate safety and efficacy knowledge. Though many complementary therapies do not have safety concerns, there is a need for evidence to support that.
In the case of ingestible therapies such as herbs or botanicals, these can interfere with medical management or cause other symptoms. Wyatt believes that patients will use complementary therapies even in the absence of evidence to support their benefit.