Cancer-related stress and complementary and alternative medicine: A review

Kavita D. Chandwani, Julie L. Ryan, Luke J. Peppone, Michelle M. Janelsins, Lisa K. Sprod, Katie Devine, Lara Trevino, Jennifer Gewandter, Gary R. Morrow, Karen M. Mustian

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations

Abstract

A cancer diagnosis elicits strong psychophysiological reactions that characterize stress. Stress is experienced by all patients but is usually not discussed during patient-healthcare professional interaction; thus underdiagnosed, very few are referred to support services. The prevalence of CAM use in patients with history of cancer is growing. The purpose of the paper is to review the aspects of cancer-related stress and interventions of commonly used complementary and alternative techniques/products for amelioration of cancer-related stress. Feasibility of intervention of several CAM techniques and products commonly used by cancer patients and survivors has been established in some cancer populations. Efficacy of some CAM techniques and products in reducing stress has been documented as well as stress-related symptoms in patients with cancer such as mindfulness-based stress reduction, yoga, Tai Chi Chuan, acupuncture, energy-based techniques, and physical activity. Much of the research limitations include small study samples and variety of intervention length and content. Efficacy and safety of many CAM techniques and some herbs and vitamin B and D supplements need to be confirmed in further studies using scientific methodology. Several complementary and alternative medicine therapies could be integrated into standard cancer care to ameliorate cancer-related stress.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number979213
JournalEvidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume2012
DOIs
StatePublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Complementary and alternative medicine

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