CAM EducationCancer

Pediatric oncologists’ views of CAM

Young patients with cancer commonly use CAM, yet  only about half of them discuss CAM with their oncologist, according to researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, New York.

What’s a pediatric oncologist to do?

First, the details.

  • The aim of this study was to assess barriers to CAM communication in pediatric oncology.
  • A 33-question survey was sent to 358 pediatric oncologists in the US.

And, the results.

  • 90 pediatric oncologists completed the survey.
  • 99% think it’s important to know the CAM therapies used by their patients.
  • Fewer than half of pediatric oncologists routinely ask their patients about CAM.
    • Primarily because of a lack of time and knowledge.
  • Many physicians think some forms of CAM may improve quality of life.
    • Massage: 74%
    • Yoga: 57%
  • More than half of physicians thought dietary supplements, herbal medicine, special diets, vitamins, and chiropractic might be harmful.

The bottom line?
The authors concluded, “To improve communication about CAM, increased physician education is needed.”

3/6/09 19:42 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.