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

  • Knight, Aishah (Advanced Medical and Dental Institute, Universiti Sains Malaysia) ;
  • Hwa, Yen Siew (School of Distance Education (Economic Section), Universiti Sains Malaysia) ;
  • Hashim, Hasnah (Advanced Medical and Dental Institute, Universiti Sains Malaysia)
  • Published : 2015.04.29


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 to explore the use of CAM and the influencing factors in the Northern region of Peninsular Malaysia. Materials and Methods: This was a cross-sectional descriptive study on a convenience sample of 100 Malaysian breast cancer survivors. Findings: The reported use of CAM among the breast cancer survivors was lower than in other studies but the types of CAM used had a similar pattern with nutrition supplements/vitamins being the most common. The factors that positively influenced the use of complimentary/traditional therapy were income and getting information from television or radio. Survivors with access to internet/blogs appear to have lower odds 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 CAM use by breast cancer patients compared to other information sources and it is important to ensure that such information is accurate and impartial.


Supported by : Universiti Sains Malaysia


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