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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2012, Article ID 670408, 6 pages
Research Article

A Survey of Complementary and Alternative Medicine Use in Cancer Patients Treated with Radiotherapy in Thailand

1Radiotherapy and Oncology Unit, Department of Radiology, Faculty of Medicine, Ramathibodi Hospital, Mahidol University, Rajtawee, Bangkok 10400, Thailand
2Department of Anesthesiology, Nopparat Ratchthani Hospital, Kannayao, Bangkok 10230, Thailand
3Department of Paediatrics, Bhumibol Adulyadej Hospital, Saimai, Bangkok 10220, Thailand

Received 15 August 2011; Revised 16 December 2011; Accepted 19 December 2011

Academic Editor: Fatma U. Afifi

Copyright © 2012 Putipun Puataweepong et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Introduction. Use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) in cancer patients is increasingly acceptable worldwide, but most of the studies were surveyed from developed countries. In this study, we evaluated the first and large cohort of cancer patients with CAM use in Thailand. Materials and Methods. A self-administered questionnaire was completed by 248 cancer patients attending outpatient radiotherapy unit at Ramathibodi Hospital. Results. The prevalence of CAM use was 60.9%. The most frequently used CAM were dietary/vitamin supplements (56.9%). Independent predictors of CAM use were high income ( 𝑃 < 0 . 0 0 1 ) and cancer type ( 𝑃 = 0 . 0 1 9 ). About half of the patients (51%) reported positive effects from CAM use. Nevertheless, 9.4% of the patient also reported side effects. The majority of patients (58.3%) did not disclose their use of CAM to their doctors because they felt that it was not necessary for doctors to know (65.9%). The average spending for CAM use was 200 USD/month (range, 10–1,000). Conclusion. Although the cost for CAM is relatively expensive, the prevalence of CAM use in cancer patients in Thailand is high particularly, in patients with higher income. Therefore, all clinical oncologists should be concerned about the use of CAM during evaluation of the cancer patients.