Background Unmet needs of cancer patients prompt them to seek care from Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicine (TCAM) practitioners. Objective To investigate the prevalence of TCAM use in a multi-specialty tertiary cancer center in South India. Materials and methods A cross-sectional survey of cancer patients who used TCAM during the study period. The patients were recruited based on covenience sampling method. Result 320 cancer patients were approached, out of which 279 (87.2%) patients responded, and the prevalence of TCAM use was 34.4%. Home remedies (36%) figure prominently, with family advice (40%) being the primary influence for the TCAM use. The key expectation was an improvement in the quality of life (49%). TCAM use was pronounced during the chemotherapy phase (50%). Most patients (76%) using TCAM reported satisfaction with the treatment. Majority of the patients did not disclose concomitant use of TCAM to their treating physicians (71%). Conclusion TCAM use by cancer patients is prevalent in Kerala. The study results point towards a need for large scale surveys, implementation of pharmacovigilance, patient education and research to identify and integrate TCAM interventions in cancer care that are safe and have beneficial effects.
K. Sarada, Ram Manohar P., Arun Philip, Greeshma C. Ravindran, and Pavithran, K., “Prevalence of the use of traditional complementary and alternative medicine amongst cancer patients in a tertiary care center in Kerala, India”, Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine, vol. 12, pp. 359-364, 2021.