open access

Vol 63, No 1 (2013)
Research paper (original)
Published online: 2013-03-08
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The use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) methods for pain relief and reducing anxiety, depression and mood disorders in women treated for breast cancer

Andrzej Nowicki, Monika Jeziorska, Paulina Farbicka
Nowotwory. Journal of Oncology 2013;63(1):8-15.

open access

Vol 63, No 1 (2013)
Original article
Published online: 2013-03-08

Abstract

Introduction. Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women. Treatment carries many psychological,
emotional and social disorders. Therefore, use of CAM is increasingly popular in recent years. The aim of the
study was to investigate alternative methods for reducing pain, anxiety, depression and mood disorders in patients
with breast cancer.

Materials and methods. The study included a group of 100 women treated for breast cancer. An original survey was
used containing 5 socio-demographic questions and 26 questions about symptoms and the use of CAM methods.

Results. The largest group (55.5%) of alternative therapy users were women between 50 and 70 years old, still working
(51%) and residents of cities (60%). Knowledge about CAM was acquired from the media: 42%. The most common
reason for using unconventional medicine methods was mood disorders (63%) and pain (21.7%). The alternative methods
were used by 40% of women who have experienced mood disorders, anxiety and depression and 36.2% were mathose
experiencing pain. Massage was a frequently selected method, by 25.6% of respondents with mood disorders and by 18.9% with pain. Respondents believed that the use of CAM reduced the perceived symptoms among 84% of those experiencing pain and 80% with mood disorders.

Conclusions. Almost half of the surveyed women used complementary methods. They were mainly professionally active residents in cities. Their knowledge was mostly acquired from the media and the family. Alternative methods were mainly used for allevation of mood disorders and pain. Women suffering pain, anxiety, depression and mood disorders most often applied massage or exercises, with good results. Half of the women informed the doctor about the use of complementary procedures.

Abstract

Introduction. Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women. Treatment carries many psychological,
emotional and social disorders. Therefore, use of CAM is increasingly popular in recent years. The aim of the
study was to investigate alternative methods for reducing pain, anxiety, depression and mood disorders in patients
with breast cancer.

Materials and methods. The study included a group of 100 women treated for breast cancer. An original survey was
used containing 5 socio-demographic questions and 26 questions about symptoms and the use of CAM methods.

Results. The largest group (55.5%) of alternative therapy users were women between 50 and 70 years old, still working
(51%) and residents of cities (60%). Knowledge about CAM was acquired from the media: 42%. The most common
reason for using unconventional medicine methods was mood disorders (63%) and pain (21.7%). The alternative methods
were used by 40% of women who have experienced mood disorders, anxiety and depression and 36.2% were mathose
experiencing pain. Massage was a frequently selected method, by 25.6% of respondents with mood disorders and by 18.9% with pain. Respondents believed that the use of CAM reduced the perceived symptoms among 84% of those experiencing pain and 80% with mood disorders.

Conclusions. Almost half of the surveyed women used complementary methods. They were mainly professionally active residents in cities. Their knowledge was mostly acquired from the media and the family. Alternative methods were mainly used for allevation of mood disorders and pain. Women suffering pain, anxiety, depression and mood disorders most often applied massage or exercises, with good results. Half of the women informed the doctor about the use of complementary procedures.

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About this article
Title

The use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) methods for pain relief and reducing anxiety, depression and mood disorders in women treated for breast cancer

Journal

Nowotwory. Journal of Oncology

Issue

Vol 63, No 1 (2013)

Article type

Research paper (original)

Pages

8-15

Published online

2013-03-08

Bibliographic record

Nowotwory. Journal of Oncology 2013;63(1):8-15.

Authors

Andrzej Nowicki
Monika Jeziorska
Paulina Farbicka

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