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A recent study by a Michigan State University researcher working to develop a support intervention program for breast cancer patients has found that biologically-based therapies, such as vitamins or dietary supplements, are the most popular complementary alternative medicines (CAM) for women suffering with the disease.
Gwen Wyatt, of MSU's College of Nursing, studied all five categories of CAM therapies, including biological, mind-body, manipulative and body, energy and alternative medical systems.
Outside of biological-based therapies, the next most popular CAM options were mind-body therapies, which include the use of audiotapes, video and music-based treatments.
However, Wyatt also found that the majority of breast cancer patients using CAM therapies did so without the full knowledge of each treatment's benefits and side effects.
"Women are using these therapies, but they have little education about safety and efficacy," said Wyatt.
"They could really benefit from information on how to make a wise decision and choose the best therapies," she added.
Wyatt is now working to create a support intervention program for women recently diagnosed with the disease, which will include a DVD and booklet describing the effectiveness of each therapy option.
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