Complementary Alternative Medicine Use Amongst Breast Cancer Patients in the Northern Region of Peninsular Malaysia


Background: Breast cancer is a common cancer affecting women in Malaysia and the use of complementary/alternative medicine (CAM) has been associated with delays in getting treatment. The aim of the study was toexplore the use of CAM and the influencing factors in the Northern region of Peninsular Malaysia. Materialsand
Methods: This was a cross-sectional descriptive study on a convenience sample of 100 Malaysian breastcancer survivors. Findings: The reported use of CAM among the breast cancer survivors was lower than inother studies but the types of CAM used had a similar pattern with nutrition supplements/vitamins being themost common. The factors that positively influenced the use of complimentary/traditional therapy were incomeand getting information from television or radio. Survivors with access to internet/blogs appear to have lowerodds of using complimentary/traditional therapy compared to the respondents who reported no such access.
Conclusions: Information transmitted via television and radio appears to have a positive influence on CAMuse by breast cancer patients compared to other information sources and it is important to ensure that suchinformation is accurate and impartial.